MUSCATINE — The city of Muscatine will pay Mayor Diana Broderson $75,000 as part of two defamation settlements that involved Broderson, the city and City Administrator Gregg Mandsager. Mandsager will receive $50,000 from the city as a result of his initial defamation lawsuit, which named Broderson.
The Muscatine City Council approved the settlements May 2 after two closed sessions.
In November 2017, Mandsager filed the initial defamation lawsuit against Broderson, alleging slander or libel committed by Broderson during her first term as mayor and subsequent removal from office May 2017. She was re-elected as mayor in November of that year.
Mandsager accused Broderson of defamation, emotional distress, intentional interference with prospective business advantage, intentional interference with contract and respondeat superior, or municipality liability. He requested a jury trial and compensation from Broderson for "injuries" and legal costs.
Mandsager declined to comment Thursday on the settlement.
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Broderson filed a countersuit three months later against Mandsager, City Attorney Matt Brick and city council members who served during her removal from office. Broderson claimed abuse of process, defamation, infliction of emotional distress, malicious prosecution and other claims.
"The circumstances are certainly still there," Broderson said Thursday. "I continue to go about my business and do the work of the people every single day that I possibly can, and I will continue to do that for as long as they want me to."
The Council approved the settlements after recommendations from legal counsel and ICAP, Iowa Communities Assurance Pool. A trial date had been set for September.
According to court records, the case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning no conclusions of fault were made and the case cannot be filed again.
"I think it's good just to have it over with," Broderson said. "I think the city really needs to move forward past some of the negative things that have happened."