“No final reportable action” was taken in a closed session discussion about a lawsuit involving a then-Ridgecrest police captain accused of allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages to another city employee, who also alleged she was subsequently wrongfully terminated.
Assistant City Attorney Lloyd Pilchen made the announcement via phone after the closed session at the Ridgecrest City Council meeting Jan. 7.
The meeting was continued from its regular time the previous day because of technical difficulties with the city’s audio system. The meeting was closed to in-person public attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawsuit involves former city employee Phenvana Panpradith and former Capt. Ryan Marrone. In April 2019, Panpradith sued the city alleging Marrone sexually harassed her and she was eventually wrongfully terminated after she reported the harassment to her own secretary.
Panpradith is asking for "unlimited" damages, meaning over $25,000, and a jury trial.
A tentative settlement had been reached but needed to be approved by the city council, according to a stipulation filed Dec. 22.
The terms of a settlement are likely to be protected by a nondisclosure agreement.
Marrone was demoted to Sergeant.