Judge Declares Alleged $4M Settlement Invalid for Ottawa County Health Officer Amid Legal Battle

OTTAWA COUNTY, MICHIGAN – A judge has declined to enforce an alleged $4M settlement for the Ottawa County health officer, stating that the agreement was not in compliance with legal requirements. The health officer, who filed a lawsuit against the county, claimed that she was wrongfully terminated from her position. However, the judge ruled that the settlement did not follow the necessary steps for approval.

The dispute arose when the health officer was let go by Ottawa County. Alleging that her termination was unjustified, she pursued legal action against the county. Eventually, a settlement agreement was reached, reportedly amounting to $4M. However, the judge overseeing the case rejected the settlement, stating that it did not adhere to proper legal procedures.

According to the judge, there were no signatures from the County Board of Commissioners or the County Administrator on the settlement agreement. These signatures are required by law in order for the settlement to be considered valid. Consequently, the judge ruled that the agreement should not be enforced.

Following the judge’s decision, it is unclear what steps will be taken next in the ongoing legal battle between the health officer and Ottawa County. The county’s attorney has expressed that they are reviewing the judge’s ruling and considering their options. They may choose to negotiate a new settlement agreement or proceed with further litigation.

This development is significant as it puts the health officer’s alleged $4M settlement in jeopardy. If a new agreement cannot be reached, the lawsuit may continue, potentially leading to a court trial where the merits of the termination will be examined.

In the meantime, the health officer remains without a resolution to her employment dispute, and Ottawa County faces the prospect of continuing legal proceedings. The outcome of this case will likely have implications for future settlements involving public employees and the necessary steps for approving such agreements.

It is important to note that this ruling does not determine the merits of the health officer’s termination but rather focuses solely on the validity of the settlement agreement. The judge’s decision ensures that legal procedures are followed and that settlements are properly executed. The case will proceed, shedding light on whether the health officer’s termination was justified or not.