[This story was updated with new developments on Tuesday evening.]
Late in the evening on Wednesday, December 21st in their last action at their last 2022 meeting, the Rye City Council approved a $3.25 million dollar settlement with an undisclosed “John Doe”.
Asked for further details on who and what warranted such a sizable payout, Rye City Manager Greg Usry said on Tuesday “There is nothing more to add beyond what was in the resolution.” The resolution, made by Councilwoman Julie Souza and seconded by Councilwoman Emily Hurd was “to allocate $3.25 million from the Undesignated Fund Balance for the settlement of John Doe v. City of Rye, and $35,000 from the same fund for attorney fees.”
The motion was made under the “Old Business / New Business” agenda item for the December 21st meeting. The published agenda had no detail that a $3.25 million City payout would be voted on during the meeting, just a minute before the Council meeting ended at 9pm, days before the Christmas holiday.
To give some perspective, the $3.25 million represents over 7% of the City’s 2023 total budget. The council voted as follows:
Ayes: Mayor Cohn, Councilmembers Hurd, Johnson, Nathan, Souza, Stacks Nays: None
Absent: Councilman Henderson
Watch the motion and the vote (60 seconds):