A $125,000 payment to Laurie Synowiecki was approved at Monday night's City Council meeting.

Synowiecki is the manager of the Bellevue Police Department's Office of Professional Standards, but will leave the city's employ as part of the settlement.

The agreement states Synowiecki "has brought forth allegations, that while employed by the City, she has been unlawfully harassed and subjected to a hostile work environment."

The council's action, according to a memo written by Assistant City Attorney Molly Miller, averts potential litigation.

While the agreement does not expand on her allegations, Synowiecki said in a written statement on Feb. 22 that she believes the Bellevue Police Officer's Association has harassed her in the performance of her duties, in part, she alleges, by providing "defamatory" information to media.

“I firmly deny engaging in any intentional wrongdoing or misconduct whatsoever while performing my duties in the Office of Professional Standards,” she wrote. “My unblemished record of public service speaks for itself.

“The information that has been inappropriately been (sic) provided to the media by the Bellevue police union (BPOA) is defamatory and yet another example of the harassing conduct of the BPOA."

The union, though its attorney Tom McCarty, released a statement denying it had ever harassed Synowiecki.

"The BPOA has never engaged in such conduct," the statement said. "Instead, the BPOA asserted its legal right to raise concerns about an investigation Synowiecki conducted that was used by the City of Bellevue to wrongfully terminate a BPOA member."

In 2017, Synowiecki was the subject of an independent probe into two of her investigations. The report, which was critical of her conduct in both investigations, has become a key component of an ongoing legal battle beween the city and the police union.

In addition to the $125,000 payment, Synowiecki will receive three months of health insurance paid by the city and a positive job reference.

She must be available for testimony regarding ongoing city litigation.

Finally, the city rejects any allegation of wrongdoing toward Synowiecki.

The settlement was listed on the council's consent agenda, which consists of items that are usually approved without discussion.

In a memo to City Council members, Assistant City Attorney Molly Miller recommended the settlement be placed there.

"This matter is a negotiated, compromised settlement," she wrote. "No action is necessary other than to acknowledge it and authorize execution of the documents. Therefore, this matter can be placed upon the Consent Agenda."

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