By Sterling McGinn
During closed session on Monday, May 18, the Newberry Village Council discussed accepting a settlement agreement in the arbitration between the village and former Village Manager Jennifer James-Mesloh. The council returned to open session and voted to accept the terms.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Newberry News obtained a copy of the agreement.
James-Mesloh was employed by the village from January 2017 until her resignation in September 2019.
James-Mesloh filed arbitration against the village to seek compensation for financial damage after wrongful actions, which were not detailed in the documents received.
A total of $307,000 will be paid to James-Mesloh and her attorneys. A total of $250,000 must be paid within 21 days of the signing of the agreement.
An additional $57,000 will be payable in three installments of $19,000 each, with the first payment coming no later than June 30, 2021, and the second no later than January 31, 2023.
Other terms of the settlement include:
—Removing from village websites the minutes from the August 20, 2019 Village meeting, which refers to the motion to suspend James-Mesloh for malfeasance.
—Removing all attorney letters regarding James-Mesloh from websites and social media.
—No additional letters from any attorneys that mention James-Mesloh will be added to the website, meeting minutes from any council of the Village of Newberry.
—The Village of Newberry will add a letter of appreciation to the James-Mesloh’s employment file. The Village of Newberry agreed that they will not harm or disparage James-Mesloh in any context or format, or contribute in a personal or professional capacity to the spread or communication of disparaging information or documents referencing James-Mesloh.