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City settles suit with two former officers

The City of Lawton is citing economics as the reason for settling a lawsuit filed by a former Lawton police officer who wanted his job back.

And, a City Council member representing a portion of north Lawton has started the process to use the city's nuisance abatement ordinances to clean up a Fort Sill Boulevard bar that was the scene of a homicide over the weekend.

The actions came during Tuesday's City Council meeting, after members spent about an hour in executive session on four items, including the 2013 lawsuit filed in the U.S. Western District Court of Oklahoma by former Lawton Police Officer Robert Puccino Jr. and former Lawton Police Chief Ronnie Smith Sr. Council action settled both portions of the joint lawsuit, at a total cited cost of $175,099 to the city. City Attorney Frank Jensen said city officials would not comment on the settlement because the agreement includes a confidentiality clause.

Council action  approved by every council member but Ward 6 Councilman Richard Zarle  specifies the city will enter into an economic settlement with Puccino, who will receive $100,000, payable in four installments of $25,000 each over four years. In addition, the settlement specifies the City of Lawton will allow Smith to receive a retirement pension from the City of Lawton, by requiring the city to pay into that pension fund a sum of $75,099, which represents the city and employee payments that would have allowed Smith to qualify for retirement.

The Lawton Constitution

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