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City of Durango News Flash

Posted on: December 7, 2022

City settles lawsuit that rescinds all accusations of wrongdoing

City Update

City of Durango logoMedia Contact
Tom Sluis
Director, Media and Community Engagement
Phone: (970) 375-5090
Email: Tom.Sluis@durangogov.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, DECEMBER 7, 2022


City settles lawsuit that rescinds all accusations of wrongdoing


Durango, CO: In an effort to save city staff time and money the Durango City Councilors accepted a no-fault settlement of $3,250 with Matt Roane on Tuesday after coming out of executive session.

“We have fallen prey to this in the interest of not pursing staff time and increased legal fees,” said mayor Barbara Noseworthy. “This is a compromise I am willing to make to settle this for expediency… The city has done nothing wrong and that is part of the agreement of the settlement.” 

Roane filled the suit after seeking the recording of an executive session held by council on July 27, 2022. His argument was that the public was incorrectly notified of the executive session. However, in this settlement Roane is rescinding all accusations of wrongdoing.

“I want to reiterate that no mistakes were made on the part of the city. The executive session was properly noticed,” said councilor Melissa Youssef. “I believe that council has made the right decision to avoid any further legal expenses and use of staff time.” 

Council made a point to recognize that City Clerk Faye Harmer and former City Attorney Dirk Nelson, who were named on the lawsuit, were not at fault for the filing and through the process had the full confidence of council.

“It is unfortunate that someone can take up so much time and resources for something with no ill intention or wrongdoing,” said councilor Jessika Buell. 

Noseworthy noted that this lawsuit is part of a pattern on the part of Roane. 

“It’s unfortunate that this is an attorney that has made part of his practice pursuing lawsuits against government and public entities,” Noseworthy said. “In the Herald it was indicated that he has filled at least 31 suits against schools and governments. I don’t know how many of those he settled out of court, with no expression of liability for a fee, but this is a pattern.” 

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