Council approves settlement in Kansas City mayor lawsuit

Thursday, July 23, 2009 | 5:19 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City officials have voted to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit by a former aide to Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

The Kansas City Council on Thursday voted 7-3 to approve paying the former aide, Ruth Bates, $550,000 to settle all of her claims against the city. Funkhouser abstained from voting on the settlement.

A trial over the suit was scheduled to begin Monday.

In her lawsuit against Funkhouser and the city, Bates had claimed Funkhouser's wife — a nearly full-time volunteer in the mayor's office — made racist and sexual comments to her. Bates also claimed she was paid less than other people in comparable positions.

Bates had been seeking $25,000 on each of three counts, plus punitive damages.

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