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Agreement reached on county harassment complaint

Goodhue County Board passed a resolution Tuesday approving a tentative settlement of pending civil litigation believed to be related to a sexual harassment complaint by a county employee.

Terms of the confidential settlement will be made public when they have been executed and the period to rescind the agreement has expired, County Attorney Steve Betcher said. He would not provide a specific time frame.

The county has been in mediation talks this summer with Heidi Krause, a 14-year Veterans Service employee who claims she faced retaliation by county officials after coming forward with a tip that her new boss, Veterans Service Officer Lyman “Robby” Robinson Jr., had a history of sexual harassment. Krause also alleged Robinson stared at her breasts on March 21, his first day on the job at Goodhue County.

The board met in closed session Monday to discuss pending civil legal action, but commissioners made no public decision about the case at that time.

County Board previously voted to dismiss Krause’s complaints at a meeting in April, siding with an independent investigator’s report that found her claims unsubstantiated. In response, she filed a charge against the county through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the county employee union.

Revealed documents show Robinson was reprimanded in 2010 for staring at the breasts of co-workers while serving as the Washington County veterans service officer, but his record was not made known to Goodhue County commissioners until after they unanimously approved hiring him on March 18.

Robinson also serves as the mayor of Cannon Falls and is running unopposed for re-election this year.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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