PUBLISHED THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2011 AT 1:00 AM / UPDATED AT 12:22 PM
One of the leaders of a failed effort to recall Mayor Jim Suttle will pay $9,000 as part of a settlement agreement that will end a legal battle with the president of the city's fire union.
Documents filed Wednesday in Douglas County District Court formally dismissed the defamation lawsuit filed by fire union President Steve LeClair. He filed the lawsuit last fall against Dave Nabity, president of the Omaha Alliance for the Private Sector, over his comments on a radio talk show.
Each side must pay its own attorneys' costs, and LeClair will receive $9,000 as part of the settlement.
Nabity publicly criticized LeClair last fall, shortly after State Auditor Mike Foley released a stern report on the Fire Department's finances. In the lawsuit, LeClair accused Nabity of falsely stating that LeClair "committed fraud" and "theft by deception" for receiving pay that wasn't due to him.
Nabity filed a countersuit, saying the lawsuit against him and his organization was intended to intimidate and to inhibit free speech.
The settlement, though, puts an end to the litigation.
"While Mr. LeClair and Mr. Nabity have been adversaries in this public debate and the two have fundamental philosophical differences, both recognize that a prolonged trial is not a prudent use of resources to resolve these differences," said a joint statement released by both men.
In a separate statement, Nabity said his insurance company advised him that it was best to settle the case for $9,000, rather than work to raise money for costly legal proceedings. The insurance company paid the claim, he said.
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