Putnam Township, Former Fire Marshal Settle Lawsuit
April 8, 2021
By Mike Kruzman & Jon King / email@example.com
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit between a former fire marshal and Putnam Township.
In September 2019, the Putnam Township Board of Trustees voted 5-0 during a special meeting to terminate Fire Marshal Jennifer Koch, who had been with the department for 23 years. At the time of her firing, she attributed her termination to alleged harassment from Fire Chief Curt Ruf, which he denied. Ruf said the township investigated the claims and determined they were unfounded and that Koch was let go after she walked off the job following a meeting concerning a dispute and then did not call or show up for work the next day.
Koch filed a 10-count complaint against the township in January of 2020 claiming violations of the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act. She also sought payment for lost wages.
Last month, Livingston County Court records show that the case was dismissed. In an email to WHMI, Putnam Township Supervisor Dennis Brennan confirmed that the case was settled using a facilitator of the court after it became clear that neither party stood to gain anything by going to trial.
Brennan said a mutually agreeable settlement was worked out, and Koch signed a release of all claims against the township. No further details of the settlement were revealed.