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Times editorial was off base

Dear Editor:

In response to your editorial, “McFarlane’s golden parachute,” The Aspen Times needs to begin to wake up and smell the coffee instead of the chi.

From my prospective being in human resources for over 15 years, the city of Aspen made a calculated decision based on a number of factors and probably factors outside of the public view. McFarlane, who is a female, of a minority status and probably over the age of 40, has three class protections.

In years past, these classifications have been discriminated against in our society and it still happens. McFarlane made a mistake. The city decided it was worthy of disciplinary action. The end result was a “win-win” for both parties. A settlement of $10,000 is much better for all parties involved than to go into litigation over discrepancies of this case and past practices at the Aspen Police Department.

If there is a perception of misconduct by the APD, McFarlane would have received a “right to sue” letter from the EEOC (only if McFarlane wanted to pursue a wrongful discharge). By the way, McFarlane can still file with the EEOC but because she received a settlement, she would not be eligible for additional compensation.

The fact is, McFarlane is a female, minority and over the age of 40 and in my opinion it behooves the city of Aspen to settle any claim filed against the city. This is not “hush money;” this is the way our society handles these types of situations. I am a white male just under the age of 40 and I doubt if I were in the same situation I would have been offered a settlement. Right or wrong, that is our society. That is why I say “smell the coffee.”

Stephen Brown

Aspen


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