By Jane Smith

While the Delray Beach City Commission won a lawsuit filed against it by fired City Manager Mark Lauzier, it has decided not to recoup almost $20,000 in related legal expenses from him — in exchange for his not appealing the court decision.
Commissioners have unanimously approved a $19,096.67 settlement with Lauzier, whom they fired in March 2019.
The confidential settlement was on the commission’s July 19 consent agenda. After it was approved, The Coastal Star submitted a public records request for the confidential memo from City Attorney Lynn Gelin.
The settlement was the amount due the city to cover its attorney fees and costs, awarded by the court in April. To receive the release from paying the city, Lauzier agreed to dismiss his appeal, which was done on July 21. He also agreed to refrain from disparaging the city in written or spoken remarks and never seek re-employment with the city.
Lauzier currently serves as the budget manager for the St. Lucie County Commission, according to his LinkedIn profile.
At the March 1, 2019, special commission meeting, the city’s internal auditor reported that Lauzier had changed the city’s personnel manual without telling the City Commission, his boss.
Shortly after he was fired, Lauzier sued the city on a whistleblower claim and for breach of contract. The city won on both counts. A Palm Beach County jury ruled for the city in December on the breach of contract claim.
Gelin recommended approval of the settlement.
“While staff believes that there is no basis for Lauzier’s appeal, the cost and expense to defend same could be significant,” she wrote. “This settlement provides closure and finality and ensures that the City’s favorable verdict will stand.”

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