This Letter to the Editor in the Mountain Mail tries to explain the delay in justice after 2+ years. The City of Salida uses our tax money, in secret, to delay legal roceedings, hoping that the private citizen will run out of either money or the will to fight. Abuse of the public trust? You bet.
‘Demand a fair public hearing’
Mar 23, 2021 Updated Apr 30, 2021
Until two years ago, I thought the system protecting workers from discrimination/harassment had evolved sufficiently to safeguard the rights of individuals.
Observing the cases of Jodi McClurkin and Lynda Travis vs. City of Salida crawl through the system, I now realize that was laughably wrong.
Before receiving a “Right to Sue,” victims must file a complaint with the State of Colorado. This is followed by a series of delays as claims go back and forth between the parties. Once the “Right to Sue” is finally granted by the State, there follows another round of delays after a lawsuit is filed.
Who benefits from the more than two year delay since the events described in these complaints? The party with the deepest pockets. Who has greater financial resources … a marginalized former City Employee or the City of Salida?
Any legal case has adversaries:
The two ladies, who were former City of Salida employees, felt wronged and attempted to work within the system to obtain justice. Each must somehow finance their own case, and thus can only get the justice they can afford.
The Salida elected officials and several current/former employees stand accused, but have the power granted by their position to defend themselves using city resources (aka our taxpayer dollars).
In monitoring these proceedings since the beginning, it appears there have been a variety of abuses of that power; the level of secrecy chief among them. Council avoided mentioning the very existence of these cases, while simultaneously obscuring their legal costs. How about full disclosure of the monies spent?
Recently, Lynda Travis decided to settle her suit for $29,454. Never one to miss a chance to gloat, here is Salida City Attorney Nina Williams:
“Williams called the settlement a “nuisance payment,” and that if someone settles for such a minor amount, it’s likely because they know it would ultimately fail in court.”
“It had limited merits from the beginning”, Williams said. “Now we can move on”.
The Mountain Mail did not initially contact Lynda Travis for her take, but even if they had, did the settlement terms gag her from speaking? This while allowing our city attorney to metaphorically dance on her grave, fauxminism in full view?
Regardless, Jodi McClurkin’s case is still active. It should come to trial this year, and deserves greater public scrutiny. Towards this goal, I urge The Mountain Mail to post the case documents on their website, to make it easier for the public to inform themselves. Our esteemed mayor has a sign in the window of his business, telling us “Silence is Violence.” Will the Mountain Mail follow this advice, or ignore it like the mayor does?
The city seems intent on winning at all costs, regardless of where the truth lies.
Allowing the City of Salida to bludgeon these women in secret with our tax money was an injustice. Join me and demand that Jodi McClurkin receive a fair public hearing. Allow the facts of the case to dictate the outcome.