The Webster Parish Convention and Visitors’ Bureau paid over $37,000 to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former executive director Lynn Dorsey.
The bureau disclosed the amount in an email Friday morning in response to a public records request.
A check was written to Dorsey in the amount of $35,342. The commission also paid $2,100 into Dorsey’s retirement fund.
The reason for the payout is “settlement funds for dismissal of lawsuit and end litigation.”
The payments were made from the bureau’s general fund.
The commission unanimously agreed to settle the lawsuit with Dorsey in a special meeting last week, but financial details were not initially released.
As of Friday morning, no records were on file dismissing the lawsuit with the Webster Parish Clerk of Courts office.
Commission Chairman Jerry Madden referred any questions on the settlement to the commission’s Alexandria-based attorney, Steven Oxenhandler. He declined any comment on the settlement. Attorney for Dorsey, Lydia Rhodes, also declined to comment.
Following last week’s special meeting, Oxenhandler, released a joint statement between the commission and Dorsey saying the two “mutually settled all matters to this litigation and part ways amicably.”
Also in the statement, the commission thanked Dorsey for work with the bureau and Dorsey thanked the commission for allowing her to serve the community.
Dorsey made national headlines in December after she live-streamed a nude video of herself to the bureau’s Instagram account while in Baton Rouge for a tourism conference.
Following the broadcast, Dorsey, 61, said the incident was “an honest mistake” that was meant for her husband.
Dorsey blamed the mistake on her upgrade to an iPhone 7 in November, which was purchased with public funds.
She was placed on paid administrative leave on Jan. 2 and fired Feb. 12.
Dorsey hoped to get her job back, which she had held since 2004, with reinstatement retroactive to Feb. 13.
Following Friday’s special meeting, Dorsey wrote on her Facebook page “Did not get my job back, but a big check in the bank is definitely a win.”
Tourism gets the bulk of its funding from an occupancy tax collected from people who stay at hotels and motels in the parish. It also gets some state funding.
At the time of the live-stream, the commission did not have a social media policy in place. In January, the commission voted to put a policy in place.
The commission is now moving forward with the search for a new executive director. In April, the commission formed a search committee. No deadline has been set.