The City of Leander reached an amicable settlement with former Leander City Manager Kent Cagle over his lawsuit against the city and the Leander City Council alleging breach of contract for the city's failure to pay his severance after the council voted May 20 to terminate him and alleging unlawful retaliation under the Texas Whistleblower Act, claiming he was fired after reporting a top Leander city official to the police.
The city will pay $349,000 for the settlement, which included $200,000 for Cagle's owed severance, $100,000 for damages Cagle alleged in his lawsuit and $49,000 to Scott Perez LLP for Cagle's attorney fees.
The Hill Country News is in the process of request how much the city spent itself on defending itself during the litigation and subsequent settlement. Sources close to the lawsuit indicated the city may have spent at least an addition hundred thousand dollars on legal fees on top of the settlement payment because the city hired several lawyers for their defense.
Both sides of the lawsuit will “deny any concession or admission of unlawful conduct, liability, fault or wrongdoing" as part of the settlement.
"The City of Leander and Kent Cagle are pleased to report that they have amicably resolved all outstanding claims between them. The whistle blower claim and any allegations supporting said claims were previously dismissed voluntarily by Cagle," wrote Cagle and the city in a joint statement. "Additionally, the parties have resolved their contract dispute in a manner satisfactory to all parties, and those claims are being dismissed by the court with prejudice."
In addition to his dismissal of the the lawsuit, Cagle agreed as part of the settlement to not seek or accept employment with the city going forward.
All withholding including taxes will be deducted from the settlement funds. Checks were to be delivered within 30 days after the execution of the agreement, which both parties signed in early September.
The Leander City Council voted on May 20 to terminate Cagle. The cause of the termination was unclear at the time and neither the city nor the city council has given an explanation, though Hill posted on social media that the "Council felt we needed a new direction."
That post has since been deleted.
Gordon Pierce served as Interim City Manager during the transition period. On Oct. 17, the council named Galveston Assistant City Manager Rick Beverlin as the finalist in their search for a new City Manager.