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Kootenai County May Settle Claim

Fri., Jan. 6, 1995

A former legal secretary who filed a sexual harassment claim against the Kootenai County prosecutor’s office is nearing a settlement with the county, her attorney said Thursday.

“We are in the process of finalizing a resolution satisfactory to all parties,” said Harvey Richman, Carol Fowler’s attorney.

County Prosecutor Bill Douglas fired Carol Fowler in May, 1994, allegedly for tardiness and causing disruptions in the workplace.

In November, Fowler filed a tort claim against Kootenai County alleging she had been sexually harassed by another attorney at the prosecutor’s office. A tort claim is a precursor to a lawsuit.

She claimed she was fired because she complained about the harassment.

Fowler’s tort claim also alleges that Douglas failed to report her complaint to the appropriate county investigating officer and instead declared her concerns unfounded himself.

County officials wouldn’t comment on the possible settlement. However, Commissioner Dick Compton said, “I think it’s safe to say the county still maintains there was no wrongdoing.”

Fowler’s tort claim asked for more than $20,000 in damages.

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