Former Scottsdale prosecutor drops ADA claim for $80K settlement

Scottsdale City Hall is at 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (File Photo)

A former municipal prosecutor and the city of Scottsdale have come to terms on an $80,000 out-of-court settlement stemming from employment discrimination allegations regarding a lack of reasonable accommodations made for an alleged disability.

Jennifer Paetkau, who was an at-will employee listed as “Prosecutor II,” filed a notice of claim against the city Jan. 18, 2018 citing the municipality failed to offer her a reasonable accommodation for an “alleged disability,” according to an Aug. 29 city staff report.

The settlement document states Ms. Paetkau filed an employment discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The city denies the liability and contends that it was not informed of the alleged disability,” the report states. “However, these facts remain in dispute. The parties entered into early mediation and later reached a settlement, subject to council approval, in the amount of $80,000 to fully resolve these claims.”

The city of Scottsdale was represented by Kathy Wieneke of Wieneke Law Group in this matter. Scottsdale City Council approved the out-of-court settlement during an Aug. 29 public hearing at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

“The proposed total settlement of $80,000 may be included in the city’s primary property tax rate for the next year,” the staff report states.

“The eligibility of settlement and judgment payments for possible inclusion in the city’s primary property tax rate is based upon an Arizona Attorney General opinion. The city of Scottsdale has a long-standing practice of including paid tort settlements equal to or greater than $20,000 in the city primary tax rate to reimburse the self-insures fund for payment of the claim.”

The report authors are City Attorney Bruce Washburn and Risk Management Director Katherine Callaway; however, city officials say the municipality does not comment on certain legal matters.

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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