2 WOMEN SETTLE BIAS SUITS AGAINST COLUMBIA COUNTY

-- Associated Press
Section: CAPITAL REGION,  Page: B2

Date: Saturday, June 5, 1999

ALBANY -- Two women who sued Columbia County and its top attorney over alleged discrimination settled lawsuits.


Bethene Lindstedt-Simmons, a former assistant county attorney, had filed a sex and pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against the county, its top attorney, William J. Better, and Gerald Simons, chairman of the county board of supervisors. The lawsuit was settled for $210,000, her attorney said. A second lawsuit by Lisa Shallo Rinaolo also was settled for an undisclosed sum. Rinaolo had sued the county and Better, accusing Better of professional misconduct when she worked for him in 1993. Rinaolo also claimed she was fired for refusing to join the Republican Party at Better's request.


In the settlement announced Friday, Rinaolo maintained her allegations were true. Better, in a statement, said he ``vehemently denies'' all accusations brought against him. The county also admitted no wrongdoing.