CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County and a former employee Linda Luce, who filed a whistleblower lawsuit regarding her termination by Prothonotary Brian Spencer, have reached a settlement.
Details of the settlement were provided to GANT News by County Solicitor Kim Kesner.
Counsel on both sides reached an agreement, and on March 1, Luce signed for the full and final release of $20,000 in settlement of the lawsuit, Kesner said.
In February of 2017, Spencer fired Luce, who had worked in the Clerk of Courts office for 28 years, according to a previous statement from Judges Fredric J. Ammerman and Paul E. Cherry.
Their statement, which was issued in July of 2017, explained how a backlog in processing court paperwork began after Luce’s termination.
In Luce’s lawsuit filed in August of 2017, she states that Spencer hired his friend, Stephen Marshall, as the deputy prothonotary and clerk of courts after he took over the position in January of 2014.
“Although Stephen Marshall was receiving a paycheck and benefits to perform his duties as an employee of the prothonotary and clerk of courts office, Stephen Marshall performed little or no work,” states the court paperwork.
Luce reportedly complained about this to Spencer; F. Cortez Bell III, the court administrator; Marianne Sankey, the human resources coordinator; and the secretaries of both county judges. After this, she was terminated.
The lawsuit states that Luce’s firing was in violation of the “Whistleblower Law.” The county is liable to her for “loss of past and future income and benefits” and “damages for emotional distress.” She sought an “amount in excess of $20,000.”
Marshall is no longer the county’s deputy prothonotary and clerk of courts. In an October meeting, the county’s board of commissioners approved his separation/retirement, effective Oct. 2, 2018, according to previous GANT News reports.
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