Dartmouth officials say the town could have lost a lot more money had they not settled out of court with former police chief Timothy Lee.

At Monday's Select Board meeting, the town's attorney in the case, Nora Adukonis, discussed the settlement details, calling the negotiations 'grueling'.

The case involved accusations from former police officer Frank Condez against Lee of child abuse and possessing explicit child photos during his time as chief.

Town Administrator David Cressman said with a million dollar insurance cap, the town didn't want to risk it.

Adukonis said resolution numbers include $575,000 paid by the insurance company and $75,000 from the town, along with 72% of Lee's $160,000 salary in disability pay caused by heart hypertension.

Had the case gone to court, the town's attorney fees alone would have been around $600,000. This means any amount awarded by a judge and jury over $400,000 would not have been covered by insurance.

During the meeting, Cressman also brought up concerns over leaked confidential information during the settlement negotiation period.

He said it was the first time he's had to deal with a breach in confidentiality in his career.

After other Select Board members suggested launching an ethics investigation, Selectman John Haran admitted to leaking the executive session minutes to a reporter.

Haran claimed it was a mistake, saying he thought the minutes were public record once approved. However, the minutes had been approved for accuracy, not for release.

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