The news about the settlement of the Elizabeth Riel lawsuit is too outrageous to let pass without comment.

According to your article in the July 16 issue, the City has agreed to pay Ms. Riel and her attorneys $710,000 to make them go away. What possible damages (if any) could justify such an amount? For withdrawing an employment contract?

This case has been botched by City officials from the beginning. First, the offer was extended without responsibly carrying out due diligence. Second, it was withdrawn without adequately considering the consequences. And now they have accepted an exorbitant price to pay for their mistakes — one that will not be borne by any of the responsible parties. Nope, this tab goes to us taxpayers.

Neither our former City Manager nor City Attorneys (all generously compensated for their services), will be held accountable for their mishandling of the situation. And what of Pam O’Connor for her role in causing the fiasco? Perhaps in next election cycle.

Faustino Garza
Santa Monica

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