Nassau County's Republican legislators on Monday approved a $650,000 settlement offer to a former county police officer who said two male colleagues falsely arrested her in 2013 in a store parking lot while she was there to shop on Black Friday.
The vote was 12-0 with the entire Democratic caucus abstaining. Republicans hold a 12-7 majority on Nassau's legislature.
The former officer, Dolores Sharpe, a 20-year police department veteran, filed a $24 million federal lawsuit against the county and its police department in 2015.
Sharpe's attorney, Frederick Brewington, told Newsday after the vote Monday he had yet to see an official settlement offer and, "all options remain open in this matter."
Brewington continued: "At this point I have not been provided with any formal offer and there's nothing presently for my client to consider. "
Attorneys have been in mediation negotiating a settlement for Sharpe for about a year, Brewington said.
But Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said in a statement the settlement offer, "provides adequate compensation to the victim while protecting the fiscal stability of our county. My administration will continue to look closely at the facts of every case, and make decisions as to how to proceed, on a case by case basis.”
Minority Leader Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said Democratic caucus members abstained from the vote because they were, "awaiting further details related to this matter of ongoing litigation."
Sharpe was not available for comment, Brewington said.
Sharpe's lawsuit alleged malicious prosecution, false arrest, abuse of process and other violations of Sharpe's civil rights. It named Nassau Police Officers Charles Volpe and Victor Gladitz and then-police Commissioner Thomas Dale as defendants.
Sharpe, who is Black, said the officers, who are white, lied about the circumstances of her arrest and used force against her.
Brewington had said the police department treated Sharpe differently than it would have a white officer involved in an off-duty dispute, and court papers said her arrest and treatment were "due to her color and race and gender."
A jury acquitted Sharpe on charges of resisting arrest and harassment in 2015.
She decided to retire after the police department brought internal charges against her despite the acquittal, she said.
Also Monday, the full county legislature unanimously approved 11 appointees of Blakeman's to the county's new Advisory Council on People with Disabilities.
The council was created in September 2021 and signed into law by former Nassau County Executive Laura Curran to advise lawmakers and the county executive on issues relating to people with disabilities and to make legislative and budgetary recommendations to county government.