A top city administrator at the center of Hewitt’s political controversy last year parted ways with the city Monday, accepting a $110,000 settlement and agreeing to dismiss a lawsuit charging bias and sexual harassment.
All seven Hewitt City Council members agreed to accept the resignation of Belinda Kay “Katie” Allgood as the city’s managing director of administration. The separation agreement, which also gives her two months of insurance, assures that Allgood will dismiss all claims against the city and its former and current officials.
“The litigation between Ms. Allgood and the city of Hewitt has been resolved,” Mayor Charlie Turner said in a statement. “This includes a mutual agreement for Ms. Allgood’s separation from employment with the city of Hewitt. The city council looks forward to being able to focus solely on the business and needs of the citizens of Hewitt.”
Council members signed off on the agreement after nearly an hour behind closed doors at a special council meeting. Allgood did not attend the meeting Monday.
Allgood’s lawsuit earlier this year alleged sexual harassment and bias, primarily referring to actions by then-Mayor Ed Passalugo and former Councilman Kurt Krakowian, who resigned last summer. Her attorney, Ryan Johnson, said although he felt the lawsuit had merit, Allgood loved working in public service and her time in Hewitt.
“I believe the wrongdoers, the former mayor and former council member have been removed and the city and the terms of this settlement, which are fairly extraordinary for a city to pay in a case like this, we think this is absolutely a win,” Johnson said. “We think it’s an acknowledgement that discrimination occurred.”
The city’s insurer, Texas Municipal League’s Intergovernmental Risk Pool, will pay for the majority of the settlement with a $65,000 payout. The city’s share is $45,000, plus two months of insurance.
In January, City Attorney Mike Dixon prepared a 200-page report at the city council’s request shortly after he was hired as city attorney. In the report, Dixon blamed much of the tumult among city officials on Allgood and former City Manager Adam Miles.
Allgood, who has been in a romantic relationship with Miles for more than two years, has said their relationship was consensual and was disclosed to the council from the beginning.
Miles resigned in November and received an $88,000 settlement. The former city manager had filed complaints against Passalugo and former Councilman Kurt Krakowian prior to Allgood’s complaint.
Dixon declined to comment after the settlement Monday night. City Manager Bo Thomas said he believed the agreement was in the best interest of the city.