Sexual Harassment/Unlawful Termination/Wage Lawsuit Against City Settles for $375,000

Former Paramedic Coordinator Sabrina Somma filed a lawsuit against the City, former Fire Chief John Neilsen and others on November 17, 2008, with claims including sexual harassment, unlawful termination, and failure to pay wages.
The complaint, linked below, includes alleged verbatim quotes from the former Fire Chief to and about Ms. Somma.

Under the confidential Settlement Agreement dated August 31, 2009 both parties release all claims with no admission of liability.

A Public Records Request to the City was returned unfilled, however, we recently obtained the document under the Public Records Act from another Government Agency. The Public Records Act and Case Law do not allow for settlements to be hidden from the public.

The Settlement requires Somma to keep away from City operations. It states: “The City shall provide a neutral reference for Plaintiff that contains the dates of employment, her job title(s) and that she voluntarily left her employment, and that is all that will be disclosed to any inquiring prospective employers.”

In consideration of the Agreement, the City's insurance company (California Joint Powers Insurance Agency) issued payment of $375,000.

Update: February 2012 - Former Fire Chief John Neilsen Arrested for Allegedly Sending Sexually Suggestive Texts to 15-Year-Old - Off Site Story

Read the 2008 Lawsuit here
Read the August 2009 Settlement Agreement here

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