Leetsdale Council Approves Settlement with Former Borough Clerk
Sandra Bajsec will receive $37,000 as part of the settlement.
Leetsdale Council approved a settlement Thursday with a former borough clerk who filed a federal lawsuit claiming she was let go from her job for political reasons.
Sandra Bajsec's Pittsburgh attorney, Christine T. Elzer of Samuel J. Cordes & Associates, said Bajsec will receive $37,000 as part of the settlement. She has also agreed never to apply for a borough job.
Elzer said Bajsec has signed the agreement, though there is a revocation period that ends July 19.
"She could revoke it, but she hasn't," Elzer said.
Both sides, including Leetsdale’s insurance counsel, reached the tentative settlement agreement during a June 20 court-ordered mediation.
Megan Ott, solicitor for Leetsdale borough, said she planned to wait until after the revocation period to discuss the agreement. She did say that she believed a "fair and appropriate" agreement was reached.
“I don’t think any party is ever satisfied with a settlement,” Ott said.
Council held a 45-minute executive session for litigation purposes prior to starting the meeting. The setttlement vote was the first matter of business.
In February, Bajsec of Leetsdale sued the borough in U.S. District Court, stating in the suit that she was fired because of her "perceived" political affiliation to her husband, former council vice president Michael Bajsec.
Bajsec’s lawsuit specifically named Council President Joseph McGurk and council members Melanie Dunn, Linda Michael and Jeffrey Weatherby as defendants.
The individual council members filed a motion to dismiss, but Elzer said a judge denied the request.
Council tabled plans Thursday to advertise for an assistant borough secretary. Also tabled was a request from Michael Bajsec, who attended the meeting, asking that his wife also be reimbursed $765.44 in legal fees paid out of pocket for her February appearance before the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission.
The delay had Michael Bajsec asking “why?”
“I don’t believe it’s appropriate to vote on at this time,” Ott replied.
Michael Bajsec said after the meeting that Leetsdale covered similar fees for council members who were summoned to appear before the commission.
The state Ethics Commission looked into allegations against the borough and ruled last month that former borough manager Paul Scimio violated the state Ethics Act while serving on council when he used a borough-issued credit card to charge meals for himself and other borough employees. Scimio was ordered to reimburse the borough $1,078.03, which he has paid.