It isn’t just the nations capitol that employs the tactic of dumping unpleasant and/or damaging news on a Friday afternoon.   They do it in the state capitol, too, and today’s is a doozy, involving the settlement in the Scott Eckersley wrongful termination case.  

Eckersley, you may recall, was a staff attorney in the Matt Blunt administration, who was terminated in September 2007 on specious grounds after having the temerity to suggest that the administration was not above the law and had to comply with email preservation and open records requirements as specified by state statute.  

As part of today’s agreement, Blunt and the other defendents – Rich AuBuchon, Richard Chrismer, Henry Hershel and Ed Martin, as well as Mr. Eckersley, issued a joint statement:

“The lawsuit in this case was filed following the termination of Scott Eckersley’s employment by the Office of the Governor, State of Missouri.  Based on the claims and defenses asserted by both plaintiff and defendants, all of the parties strongly believe in the merits of their positions.  However, for various reasons including the cost of continuing to litigate this matter through trial, all of the undersigned parties to the Release agree that settling the case for the amount of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00) on behalf of the defendants and the State Legal Expense Fund, in exchange for full and complete release of all claims asserted, is in the best interests of the taxpayers of the State of Missouri.”

Best interest of the taxpayers, eh?  You don’t say!  

This case has already cost $1.35 million to defend – and it settled for half a million?

Something of a false economy there, don’t you think?