Without commenting on Dennis' case specifically (you may recall that she claimed former Rec and Parks Head Yomi Agunbiade both sexually and religiously harassed her -- in writing, no less), City Attorney spokesman Matt Dorsey explained how the unintentionally ridiculous figure of $90,670.20 may have been reached.
Jury awards tend to be nice round numbers -- thousands, hundreds of thousands, or, in the case of USFL v. NFL, three bucks. But when settlments are calculated by tabulating lost wages, unemployment claims, legal fees and other mitigating factors, sometimes fractions of a dollar come up. "These are almost never rounded to the nearest dollar figures," says Dorsey. As for why -- especially considering even taxes are rounded these days -- he does not know.
Dorsey wouldn't comment on the inherent silliness of literally nickel-and-diming a settlement figure exceeding $90,000. But he did make this analogy: "The way I look at it, it reminds me of when I used to pay cash for gasoline. I was used to squeeze that nozzle so I'd get to the nearest dollar figure and not have to make change for a 10 or a 20. But now that everything's done digitally, I don't pay attention to that anymore."
Dennis' settlement is scheduled to be approved or denied by the Board of Supervisors rules committee tomorrow. Once it's officially in the books, bet your pocket change some of the folks we talked to earlier will loosen up and offer up some details.*
*Please forgive us for temporarily losing our senses. Dennis' settlement goes before rules committee on Thursday -- if it is approved there it would then require a nod from the full board. So we're not so sure anymore people will feel liberated to talk on Thursday.