The Oakland city council has agree to a $1.5 million settlement to resolve a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by former Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick in the wake of her firing by the city’s police commission and mayor two years ago.
Kirkpatrick’s contract was terminated without cause in a special February 2020 meeting by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and the city’s police commission. The former police chief filed suit against the city in August 2020, alleging her firing came in retaliation for exposing abuses of power and corruption within the commission, The East Bay Times reports.
This May, a federal jury found in a civil trial that Kirkpatrick had been wrongfully fired for blowing the whistle on some commissioners’ questionable conduct.
According to a statement by Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker, the settlement includes the jury award, as well as litigation costs of about $250,000 described as deposition and out-of-pocket expenses, and a portion of Kirkpatrick’s attorney’s fees. Parker said the city denies any liability or wrongdoing, and does not admit to any of the former chief’s allegations.
On Tuesday, the city attorney’s office said the city paid $3,198,919.44 in attorneys’ fees and $392,559.16 in costs related to the case. Kirkpatrick had initially sought $3 million in economic damages, as well as additional amounts for non-economic damages.