The Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) Board of Trustees has made a decision to settle a lawsuit filed by Kenneth C. Rossignol and will pay $425,000 and the State's Attorney Richard Fritz will pay $10,000. LGIT, the County's insurer, has the authority to resolve claims filed against the County. On Tuesday, April 5, 2005, the Board of County Commissioners signed the agreement as required by LGIT.
In May 2004, the court dismissed the County Commissioners from the case after determining they were not liable. Without a settlement, this decision was subject to appeal. In addition, the settlement serves to end any further litigation and protect the deputies and their families from any further litigation and personal liability.
The lawsuit, originally filed in 1999, alleges violations of civil rights and freedom of speech resulting from the mass purchase of the Election Day 1998 issue of the newspaper St. Mary's Today and includes as Defendants State's Attorney Richard Fritz, Former Sheriff Richard Voorhar, and several Sheriff's Deputies.