Wilcox agrees to county offer to settle sexual harassment suit

Former Assistant County Administrator Gail Wilcox has agreed to the county’s offer of a $180,000 settlement of her lawsuit against the county and her then-boss, former County Administrative Officer David Edge, her attorney confirmed late Wednesday afternoon.

David Warren said he felt he felt Wilcox had a strong case, but when they looked at the time and money required to pursue it, they decided to come to terms.

The settlement, he said, will “allow her to move forward with her life.”

His announcement followed by one day the county Board of Supervisors’ instructions to its attorneys to seek a settlement. The county as well said it thought it could win, but the cost might have run as high as $1 million.

“We’re glad to put this behind us,” board Chairman Frank Mecham told The Tribune. He called it a “business decision.”

Wilcox filed her suit last June against the supervisors and Edge, claiming she was a victim of sexual harassment, retaliation, discrimination, a hostile work environment and breach of contract.

The board had fired Edge in May, although it did not mention the harassment allegations; Edge was an at-large employee and his contract allowed him to be fired without supervisors giving a reason.

Two months later, after an investigation, supervisors fired Wilcox “based on her participation in a personal relationship that conflicted with her official duties.” That turned out to be Tony Perry, who was negotiating on behalf of the Deputy Sheriffs Association across the table from Wilcox, who was representing management.

The board on Tuesday named Dan Buckshi to succeed Wilcox as assistant county administrator. Earlier, the supervisors hired Jim Grant to replace Edge.