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Council to address settlement in Sullivan case

October 3, 2014
By JIM LINETTE ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

City Council is expected to approve a resolution Monday settling the civil court case brought by former Mayor John Sullivan against Marni Sawicki after Sawicki was elected in October 2013.

The trial court ruled in favor of Sawicki, who won election by a narrow margin, and that Sullivan was ordered to pay the defendants' attorney's fees. Sullivan appealed the judgement to the Second District Court of Appeal.

Recently, the parties and their counsel discussed the possibility of a settlement. That settlement comprises a payment of $125,000 by Sullivan for the attorneys' fees and court costs incurred by the city of Cape Coral. Of that amount, $77,000 would go to the Cape Coral Election Canvassing Board with Sawicki and her counsel receiving $48,000.

The settlement also calls for the parties to voluntarily dismiss the Trial and Appeals court cases.

Council also will vote on approving the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the city and the Cape Coral Fraternal Order of Police. That agreement includes a 5 percent base salary increase for 2015 in addition to a 5 percent increase retroactive to July 1, 2014.

Council also will vote on a resolution to record a release of a voluntary $1.5 million lien on a parcel once owned by Tri-State Development LLC. The property, now owned by a bank, was intended for an industrial development and the lien was placed on it to cover the city's cost of extending water and sewer lines to the property.

With prospective buyers showing interest in the property, the lien places an unreasonable and unnecessary cloud on the mortgage holder's ability to sell. The resolution includes a section for the city to collect Contribution in Aid of Construction fees to cover the cost of the utilities extension.

Council also will delve into several personnel actions during the meeting, including adding two contract specialist positions in the finance department. Three new position classifications for the billing, customer and field service manager and assessment supervisor have been proposed along with six reclassifications of positions among city employees.

The meeting starts Monday at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.



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