Bernalillo Co. settles sexual harassment lawsuit against sheriff

Posted at: 04/16/2014 8:36 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

Taxpayers will foot the bill to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit involving the Bernalillo County sheriff.

The county is paying former sheriff's office spokeswoman Jennifer Vega-Brown $570,000 dollars to settle the case.

In 2012, Vega-Brown accused Sheriff Dan Houston of sexually harassing and discriminating against Hispanic female employees. She claims she was fired after raising concerns. 

Sheriff Houston released a statement saying he did not agree to the settlement reached by the county. It reads, in part: 

"Without consultation with me, and over my objections, the County of Bernalillo elected to settle both Ms. Vega-Brown's lawsuit regarding her request for public records and her lawsuit against me and my office in an effort to avoid incurring additional costs and attorneys' fees."

Houston's statement also says the settlement does not mean he or the sheriff's department admit guilt.