City of Golden Valley Settles Lawsuit with Former Interim Police Chief, Paying $162,500 in Settlement

Golden Valley, Minnesota – The city of Golden Valley has reached a settlement in a lawsuit with its former interim police chief. The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust paid $162,500 on behalf of the city to resolve the suit. The lawsuit, filed in June 2023 by Scott Nadeau, alleged reverse discrimination by the city.

Nadeau, a white man, claimed that he was the most qualified candidate for the police chief position in Golden Valley. However, he alleged that the city chose to hire Virgil Green, a black man, instead. Nadeau and his attorneys sought damages of at least $75,000.

According to the lawsuit, Nadeau stated, “[He] is a white male who was performing at a high level and exceeding the performance expectations of defendants. [The city] nonetheless terminated [Nadeau] for the stated purpose of replacing him with a person of a different race. Defendants’ actions for the purpose of improving diversity constituted discrimination based on race.”

Attorney Susan Tindal, representing the city in the case, released an emailed statement saying, “The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust paid and settled on behalf of the City of Golden Valley a lawsuit brought by Scott Nadeau. The settlement was for $97,500 to Mr. Nadeau and $65,000 to his attorney. The City admits no wrongdoing or liability and all claims against the individual defendants were separately and voluntarily dismissed. This settlement takes into consideration the costs of proceeding with the lawsuit and the opportunity to bring finality to this matter.”

The settlement brings an end to the legal battle between Golden Valley and its former interim police chief. No wrongdoing or liability was admitted by the city, and all claims against the individuals involved were dismissed. The settlement amount reflects the costs associated with the lawsuit and provides closure to the matter.

The controversy surrounding the case highlights the ongoing conversations around diversity and equity in hiring practices, especially in law enforcement. It also raises questions about the legal responsibilities of municipalities when facing discrimination claims.

While this settlement resolves the specific dispute between Nadeau and Golden Valley, it is a reminder of the broader challenges cities across the country face when it comes to navigating issues of race and hiring practices. The outcome of this case may have implications for future discussions around diversity and inclusivity in law enforcement and other professions.

As this legal chapter closes, Golden Valley will continue its efforts to foster an environment of fairness and equal opportunity in its police department. The city’s commitment to upholding these principles will be closely monitored in the aftermath of this settlement.