Buena Vista settles Booker lawsuit for $550,000 - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Buena Vista settles Booker lawsuit for $550,000

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(12/30/13) - Buena Vista Township has agreed to pay more than a half a million dollars to its former police chief.

It's the latest chapter in a story that started back in February of 2012 when Brian Booker was fired by the Buena Vista Township manager.

Months later, Booker filed a whistle-blower lawsuit and the case was settled in September.

Monday, we are hearing the first details of that settlement.

The financial payoff for Brian Booker is $550,000, minus attorney fees and taxes.

While he says he is satisfied with the agreement, the person who fired him is not.

"I was fully prepared to go to court because I knew what the truth was," Booker said.

Booker believes he would have received even more money had this case gone to trial, but it's been nearly two years since he was fired from his job as Buena Vista Township police chief, and even if a jury would have sided with him, there would have been appeals and more delays.

"I had to decide what was best for my family who was going through this along with me," he said.

Along with the $550,000, the settlement calls for Booker to be reinstated as police chief and then resign.

"I have been a cop for 27 years, I have never, ever, gotten a bad evaluation," Booker said.

Former township manager Bregitte Braddock says a bad job evaluation was her reason for firing Booker. He claimed Braddock fired him in part for retaliation after he initiated an investigation into her involvement in a land dispute between two Buena Vista Township residents.

Braddock, who resigned a few months after firing Booker, told ABC12 on the phone, "He was fired for a reason. I don't agree with the settlement. I was looking forward to the case going to trial. It was the Township's call to settle."

Current Buena Vista Township manager Dexter Mitchell's only comment on the settlement is that the township is moving forward. So is Booker, who wants to continue his law enforcement career in the Saginaw area.

"I don't want to leave. You hear about everybody leaving everyday, 'I'm leaving Michigan, I'm leaving Saginaw,' I want to stay here. I felt I should have never been terminated in the first place, I just had to wait so everyone would know the truth," Booker said.

The settlement approved by the Buena Vista Board of Trustees will be paid by the Michigan Municipal League, the insurance provider for Buena Vista Township.  
We were not able to reach anyone there for comment.

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