Saint Louis County Board Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

By KBJR News 1

June 4, 2013 Updated Jun 4, 2013 at 6:58 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- At their meeting on Tuesday, the Saint Louis County Board voted to settle a lawsuit from a former employee who claimed she was sexually harassed by a county commissioner.

Former county employee Betty Sislo alleges she was sexually harassed over several years while she was secretary for former County Commissioner Dennis Fink.

Sislo filed a complaint in 2007 alleging that Fink often made harassing comments with sexual overtones.

The county investigated those claims but took no action against Fink.
Fink was voted out of office in 2010.

In 2008, the county terminated Sislo's employment.
Last November, Sislo filed a suit against St. Louis County claiming the county didn't protect her from harassment and retribution.

On Tuesday, the county board voted to pay Sislo $65 thousand in a settlement rather than go to court.

"The county has and continues to deny liability. The case was settled in this amount to save taxpayers dollars in legal fees that would be incurred by the county to move forward," said Saint Louis County Spokeswoman, Dana Kazel.

Of the board members present at Tuesday's meeting, the vote to settle with Betty Sislo was nearly unanimous.

Commissioner Chris Dahlberg abstained because he is a personal friend of Sislo's.

Fink had no comment on Tuesday's settlement.

Sislo could not be reached for comment.

Posted to the web by Jeremy Brickley.