Aspen Art Museum, ex-employee quietly settle suit |

Aspen Art Museum, ex-employee quietly settle suit

A lawsuit between the Aspen Art Museum and a former employee has been dismissed.

Beatriz Palacios sued the nonprofit in December in Pitkin County District Court. Her suit claimed that despite the museum’s strong performance reviews for her position as assistant registrar, the museum terminated her for no reason on Aug. 15, the same month the new 33,000-square-foot facility opened its doors in downtown Aspen.

In late March, District Judge Gail Nichols dismissed the suit with prejudice, which means Palacios can’t bring the action against the museum again. Nichols also ordered both sides to pay their own costs and attorneys’ fees.

Aspen lawyer Peter Thomas, who filed the suit for Palacios, did not return a telephone message Tuesday. Front Range attorney Clinton Swift, one of the attorneys for the museum, also didn’t return a message.

While under the museum’s employ, Palacios made an annual benefit base salary of $53,000, her suit said. Her benefits included rental housing, health and life insurance, an annual recreation allowance and participation in a corporate retirement plan.

In its formal response to the suit, dated Jan. 28, the museum claimed that Palacios had received negative performance reviews that led to her termination.

The museum also said it could fire Palacios “with or without cause, at any time,” because she was an at-will employee.

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