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Woman At Center Of Jackson County Sheriff's Office Sex Scandal Settles Lawsuit With County

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3

The woman at the center of a scandal that brought down the Jackson County sheriff has settled her lawsuit against the county—for no money.

Christine Lynde was a civilian worker in the sheriff's office when she sued the county in 2015, claiming she had been sexually harassed by two women in the office and the number two in the department, Col. Hugh Mills. 

The settlement comes about three weeks after former sheriff Mike Sharp resigned. He admitted to having a sexual and financial relationship with Lynde.

The unexpected settlement came after the County Legislature met in closed session Monday to discuss the case. It voted unanimously for "a mutual release of claims" and "no payment required of either party."

While the county is off the hook for a financial settlement with Lynde, the lawsuit has cost a lot in outside legal fees. Reportedly, the county has spent almost $400,000 on lawyers.

"Not only are we not paying anything, but we get to stop paying outside counsel to work on it," said Legislator Tony Miller.

The whole matter exploded last month when new court documents in the lawsuit were uncovered.

They showed that Sharp made Lynde the highest paid civilian worker in the sheriff's office, gave her a car allowance and took her on several trips.

Sharp, elected in 2009, called his relationship with Lynde a "personal failure."

The settlement with the county does not have anything to do with a criminal investigation into her by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

The scandal triggered the current search for an interim sheriff. A list of three finalist was released Monday. County Executive Frank White will interview all three and make the appointment soon, according to a news release from the county.

Sam Zeff is KCUR's Metro Reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter @samzeff

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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