Last year, former City Commissioner Stephen Miller delivered a resignation letter to the City Commission. Shortly thereafter, he rescinded his resignation, but the City Commission voted to accept it anyway one week later. Miller ended up suing the city, alleging that he was wrongfully terminated and that the Commission violated the Open Meetings Act.
Case evaluators found a reasonable settlement to be $7,500, and both Miller and the city accepted it. Case evaluation is a process where three attorneys, a plaintiff, defendant and a neutral attorney come up with a settlement number. Each side can choose to accept the number, or reject it and face the risk of paying the equivalent of a fine if a judgment is eventually awarded for much more or less than the panel’s number.
For Royal Oak, accepting case evaluation will end up saving money in the long run, now that they do not have to pay an outside law firm to litigate the case. The city’s accepting of the panel’s settlement number should not be interpreted as an admission of guilt.