Cost to Date of the Michelle Rex Lawsuit Against WeHo Is $500,000

To date the cost to WeHo of the Michelle Rex vs. the City of West Hollywood trial is $493,096.31.

That’s according to figures provided by the City of West Hollywood and the Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California. PARSAC is a risk-sharing pool funded by California towns and cities and public agencies that provides coverage for general liability, law enforcement legal liability, public officials’ errors and omissions, auto liability and employment practices liability.

Michelle Rex

Joanne Rennie, PARSAC’s general manager, told WEHOville that the state’s employment risk management authority, a statewide risk-sharing pool, has paid out $393,096.31. However Rennie said that not all bills have been received. The City of West Hollywood has had to cover an additional $100,000 in costs, which is its deductible.

Costs associated with the trial include fees to the law firm of Carpenter, Rothans & Dumont, whose Steve Rothans and Jill Williams defended the city. Other costs include various court fees and engagement of a consultant, William Kelly of Kelly Associate Management Group, to analyze the WeHo’s city council deputy system in comparison to systems in other cities of a similar size and to determine its cost to the city.

Rex, the former campaign manager and deputy for Councilmember John D’Amico, filed a lawsuit against the city last year, alleging that she was fired from her position in retaliation for her testimony in support of fellow deputy Ian Owens and his allegation that another deputy, Fran Solomon, solicited donations for the election campaign of her boss, Councilmember John Heilman, while at work. A Superior Court jury decided on behalf of the City of West Hollywood on May 19.

Owens, the deputy to Councilmember John Duran, sued the city and Duran in 2015 alleging sexual harassment by Duran and that he was fired by the city for exposing corrupt behavior by a fellow deputy. The city settled the case by paying Owens $500,000 with both it and Duran denying Owens’ allegations.

  1. In the real world, and way out of my world, $100,000 is an extraordinary sum of money (Which would change my entire life if I had that much) but between articles about tens or hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on nice, but hardly necessary project – an aquatic center in the sky for example, and the article about weho’s budget …..

    I have to say a hundred grand is peanuts for the City, it’s budget and affect proportionally on weho fiscal finances.

    I haven’t followed this case, never heard of the woman, but it feels like a smear campaign for a pre-Court Judgment to bring up anything about the case, most especially the cost to the city.

    Maybe the city did something wrong. Maybe they didn’t. Our Court system is deciding it now.

    If when judged, she had no claim, doesn’t the court put costs on people for frivolous claims filed for some hopeful pay out from deep pockets?

    IN THE TIME OF TRUMP: We need to hold fast to our Constitutional Based Judicial System and not be a sideline Kelly Ann Conway, with misleading “alternate facts’ while a formal court trial is in session to decide the issue.

    When they go low, we do go high, we fight for what is right, and our system of government, and the judicial system should be given extra respect while the President tries to destroy everything the US stands for on his way to impeachment (ok wishful … no Hopeful thinking) but respect the Judicial Process.

  2. MrEguy – Duran never sexually harassed anyone. Please read Larry’s recap and the city and Duran’s firm statement that what Owens claimed never happened. Their insurance company insisted on settling with them covering the costs. They likely did this because homophobia still exists and a jury might be convinced that Owens sensitive feelings were hurt when he engaged in sexual banter with Duran,

  3. I wonder if they are going to go after her for that.

    In a civil suit, her attorney might only charge her if she won (I understand that is fairly typical).

    I wonder if she is liable for what the insurance company spent as well? That isn’t technically “city costs.” I’m guessing not.

  4. @a concerned citizen- yes the city is entitled to recover its costs from Rex- she would also have to pay her own attorney and filing fees.

  5. So, insurance is NOT covering everything. $100K might not sound like much, compared to what they city spends on everything else, but when one adds in the cost to dismantle the deputy system, the costs of other settlements (were there $100K deductibles for the Owens and Solomon settlements?), the cost of free paid time off and benefits for deputies, the loss of productivity for employees involved who had to participate in the investigations and lawsuits, it must total to an outrageous amount. I’m not blaming the city for getting sued, but I do believe this was all avoidable. They knew there were problems with this system, for years. And nobody did anything about it until it blew up in their faces.

    Most important, the city damaged its reputation with many constituents.

    Larry Block, are you saying Rex is on the hook for all of this because she lost? That changes things, a bit, but it so, it only reduces everything I outlined above by $100K.

  6. She turned down a settlement and chance to move on with her life and now she is liable for the city costs. At the trial she testified that she was ‘sick’ ‘vomiting’ ‘could not sleep’ was under ’emotional duress’ due to all the suffering she had to go through at city hall so she deserved millions in damages. Now she might know what it feels like and its all her own fault for trying to discredit our city and many personnel. Her testimony can now come— From cash out settlement and moving forward with her life and keeping her relationships whole to being almost half a million dollars in debt, on the verge of bankruptcy and completely discredited. Michelle you did it all to yourself.. It wasn’t Ian Owens, Fran Solomon or John Duran that caused all this.. it was you being greedy and seeing an opportunity to milk the city at the expense of many other people.

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