Thursday, September 11, 2008

City, URA Payout to Settle with Ford, Sirk

VIDEO of my Channel 4 Action News report is at this link.

Pat Ford has been on leave with pay from his job as URA Executive Director since April. His deal approved the the URA board continues to pay him not only through the end of his contract at the end of this year, but for an additional six months through the end of June. There's a provision he won't 'disparage' anyone as a condition of getting this money. His lawyer, Lawrence Fisher, says that doesn't mean he can't cooperate with authorities if he's subpoenaed.

After his own state ethics review, Ford made allegations of corruption in Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's administration and claimed he was being made a scapegoat for others.

Ford's attorney, Lawrence Fisher, says Ford will no longer will repeat the allegations, "unless and until" he is compelled to do so by a subpoena.

Fisher says "nothing about this settlement inhibits my client from continuing to actively cooperate with authorities on matters of mutual interest, nor could any such settlement so inhibit him."

The bottom line: by the end of next June, the URA will have paid Pat Ford an amount that equals 15 months' pay without his working -- more than 146-thousand dollars -- because the city believes that's cheaper than any lawsuit.

URA board member Jim Ferlo says the URA will "not to spend precious and very limited public dollars on baseless lawsuits and misdirected energies".

Urban Redevelopment Authority Solicitor Don Kortlandt says the agency will avoid "the costs that might be occasioned by prolonged discussion, litigation back and forth between the URA and Patrick Ford."

Ford's wife Alecia Sirk --the mayor's ex-press secretary --- gets $2,500 in a separate settlement from the city for what her lawyer says was a forced resignation.

City Solicitor George Specter says the city is paying "frankly, in order to resolve the whole thing and get it done quickly and really put an end to the whole matter involving both of them."

Fisher, who is also Sirk's attorney says that "all she was seeking from the city was a letter of recommendation".

Mayor Ravenstahl released a statement saying that a settlement of potential claims by Ford and Sirk -- rather than protracted, costly litigation -- is "the most cost effective and prudent way to protect city taxpayers".


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paying Ford hush money til June 2009, assures that he won't make trouble for Ravenstahl during the January - May 2009 Primary election season.