City manager no longer can settle claims on own
Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 01/11/2011 05:13:54 PM PST

UPLAND – The city manager is no longer has authority to settle any claims filed against the city.

The City Council agreed to rescind all claims and settlement authorizations of the city manager during Monday night’s council meeting.

The decision was the result of recent speculations over a settlement made without council oversight by City Manager Robb Quincey in January 2010, authorizing the payment of $50,000 in two installments to the police union attorney.

“In this case we had a situation where two $25,000 payments were made to cover a personal expense and the council never got to see it, and (Monday’s action is) to avoid that kind of thing,” said Councilman Ray Musser.

Quincey, who was placed on paid leave of absence on Jan. 4, negotiated the settlement of a lawsuit filed by police Lt. John Moore alleging he was passed over for promotion because he investigated a domestic incident involving Quincey.

The city has refused to explain the exact reason Quincey was place on leave of absence.

Moore, who was a sergeant at the time, was promoted to lieutenant as a result of the settlement.

A resolution of existing dispute calls for the city to pay the lieutenant’s attorney, Dieter Dammeier and his firm, Lackie, Dammeier & McGill $50,000 in two installments of $25,000.

At the time Quincey had the authority to approve settlements of up to $25,000 without council approval. His maximum authority was increased to $100,000 the month after that settlement was made.

From now on, neither the city manager nor city staff will have authority to settle any tort claim or lawsuit that has been properly served upon the city, according to a staff report.

All claims will be given to the City Council for review during regular and special meetings.

The new rules apply to anyone serving as city manager. Finance Director Stephen Dunn is working as interim city manager.

Dammeier said the $50,000 payment to his firm was for the lieutenant’s settlement as well as another police-related settlement made around the same time.

The second settlement agreed to pay Upland police officers for the time they spend putting on and taking off their uniforms and equipment, or “donning and doffing.”

Dammeier’s firm was paid nearly $58,000, as its share of damages paid by the city to members of the police force, according to the settlement.

“That was because we took the case on a contingency basis, so we get paid a piece of the damages the plaintiffs recover, so that’s basically our part of the damages that were awarded,” Dammeier said. “The attorney’s fees are something different which is how we came up with $50,000 for (both settlements).”

“The only litigation we had were those two,” Dammeier said. “My understanding is both of those were discussed by the council at that point. I later found Moore maybe wasn’t.”

Detective Jim Potts, who is president of the Upland Police Association, said he had no knowledge of the settlement made with Moore.

“I’m privy to some of the information that involved with the lawsuit. I don’t know the whole lawsuit,” he said. “I don’t know everything that happened. I worked here almost 20 years. Our city is not a city that’s going to give somebody a promotion just because they filed a lawsuit and thought they deserved it.”

Potts said he believes this is the only time an officer has been promoted as a result of a settlement.

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