Council closes book on suit regarding sexual harassment by ex-mayor

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The council held a special meeting on Tuesday. Oct. 2, to discuss a motion to dismiss 10 counts in the court case of Noelle Bates v. City of Bristol, Kenneth Cockayne, Cindy Cockayne Lamarre, Edward Krawiecki, Jr., and Diane Ferguson.

The council approved the agreement “settling the claims brought against” the City in the matter of a “complaint that was filed by Noelle Bates in the Connecticut Superior Court, to be moved into the United States District Court of the District of Connecticut.”

In a statement from the office of the mayor, it is written that “the settlement agreement awards $250,000 to Noelle Bates in response to the summons and complaint served… The settlement amount and associated legal costs incurred… will be paid by the city’s insurance carrier,… Allied World Insurance Company.”

City employee Bates sued the city and city officials for “violations of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act” and “Title VII [7] of the Civil Rights Act.” She claims “that she was sexually harassed and retaliated against for complaining about such harassment.”

According to the ruling on the motion to dismiss, the defendants – the city, Cockayne, Cockayne-Lamarre, Krawiecki, and Ferguson – “move to dismiss all 17 counts of Bates’ complaint.” Their reasoning is that Bates failed “to bring her action in a timely manner, [failed] to exhaust administrative remedies, [failed] to serve process properly on one defendant, and [failed] to file her administrative complaint in a timely manner.”

The U.S. District Court District of Connecticut agreed to grant a motion to dismiss on 10 counts; two counts of discriminatory employment practices for Cockayne, one count of violation of Title VII for Cockayne, one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress for the City of Bristol, one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress for Cockayne, one count each of invasion of privacy for the City of Bristol, Cockayne, and Ferguson, one count of aiding and or abetting of discriminatory employment practices for Cockayne, and one count of aiding and or abetting of discriminatory employment practices for Cockayne Lamarre.

The court denied the motion to dismiss on seven counts; three counts of discriminatory employment practices for the City of Bristol, one count of discriminatory employment practices for Cockayne, one count of violation of Title VII for the City, one count of aiding and or abetting of discriminatory employment practices for Ferguson, and one count of discriminatory employment practices for Krawiecki.

Comments? Email tmurchison@BristolObserver.com.