Emery County Reaches Settlement with Former Commission Secretary

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Emery County Attorney Press Release

In June of 2016, the Emery County Board of Commissioners serving at that time, made the decision to restructure the secretarial staff for the Emery County Commission Office.

In that process the position of full-time Executive Secretary to the Commission was eliminated. It was restructured to allow each commissioner to hire their own part-time confidential secretary, according to Utah Code.

At that time, Leslie Bolinder was holding the position that was eliminated. Ms. Bolinder was offered a severance package, which she declined in favor of contesting the elimination of that position. A full and fair hearing was conducted and the Career Service Council found in favor of the County on every count. Ms. Bolinder appealed that decision to the trial court. Before the appeal was heard, the parties mediated.

Not only did Ms. Bolinder not prevail at her Career Service Council hearing, but Ms. Bolinder’s son filed a Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) complaint against the County seeking to obtain records of the proceedings. His complaint was dismissed with prejudice after the County prevailed with the district court concluding that the County had fully disclosed everything in compliance with GRAMA.

Because of the escalating legal costs the County had incurred because of Ms. Bolinder’s and her family’s litigation, the County thought it might be in its best interest to mediate. Accordingly, at mediation, the case was settled at no cost to the County in the amount of $75,000. This amount was based on the severance offer made on the outset plus nuisance value of the litigation. The County preferred the money go to Ms. Bolinder rather than paying the attorney even though the County was not at fault. The insurance company accommodated that request.

Ms. Bolinder has been and is currently employed at Four Corners Community Behavioral Health advancing the health of our citizens. We understand she is contributing to this critical function of government in a positive way and wish her well in that endeavor.

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