Township settles hay controversy for $45,000

DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A township in Livingston County has agreed to pay $45,000 to settle a lawsuit by a former employee who says she was fired after raising questions about a hay harvest in a public nature area.

Diane James says a Deerfield Township recreation committee was never informed in 2009. The hay had been cut by a dairy farmer who was the spouse of the township clerk.

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus says the whistle-blower case was settled, avoiding a trial that was scheduled for last week. James says officials made decisions about hay outside of public meetings.

Her job as a $20-an-hour assistant assessor was eliminated after she complained. Township officials declined to comment on the settlement. Deerfield Township is 70 miles east of Lansing.

Published: Wed, Mar 30, 2011