Is the City of Sioux Falls Attorney’s Office telling us about ALL settlements?

As we heard recently, the city paid out $500K for the death of a toddler at Falls Park. We also know that the city has said in the past that they have pending lawsuits when it comes to the Bunker Ramp fiasco and the failed HVAC at the administration building. It would be nice to at least get an update as to where we are right now with them.

But according to city hall moles, the city came to a quasi-settlement with a contractor over a Sioux Falls Parks & Rec facility. I have my guesses what that settlement was and the said facility, but since I don’t know specifically from my sources the name, I will let you speculate.

But I asked this person, “If state law now dictates that settlements must be revealed, why hasn’t the city told the public?”

The response was, “First, the contractor was found liable, so they had to award the city for their failures and secondly it wasn’t a ‘cash’ settlement”

The rumor is the contractor had to fix their screw-up instead of paying the city to fix it with another contractor so no actual money was transferred.

So I guess the argument is the city doesn’t have to reveal this settlement because no money was exchanged.

I think that is a stretch;

Section 1-27-1.23 – Settlement agreements to be public records

An agency of the state or a political subdivision may not enter into a settlement agreement with a party to any civil action or proceeding involving a claim for monetary damages or equitable relief in which the settlement agreement requires nondisclosure or confidentiality of the terms of the settlement. 

So why is the city covering this up? Especially since the city, in this case, was awarded a settlement? I would think the city attorney’s office would love to tell the public about this win? Who are they protecting?