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Submitted by on 1, April 5, 2011 – 7:26 pmOne Comment

Updated 9:08 a.m. Wednesday, April 6

The City Council has signed off on City Attorney Teresa Highsmith’s plan to retire on May 3, Mayor Marie Gilmore announced at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. The vote was unanimous.

Highsmith sent an e-mail to the city on Friday announcing her intention to retire, Acting City Attorney Donna Mooney said. Mayor Marie Gilmore announced the council’s agreement to accept her retirement and resignation from the city on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear whether the decision will settle a claim for damages Highsmith filed against the city in mid-March accusing them of putting her on leave in retaliation for her role in a leaks investigation into Councilwoman Lena Tam.

“It doesn’t mean her claim is moot. We’ll have to wait and see,” Mooney said.

Highsmith’s attorney, William Rapoport, could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

Highsmith and the city’s former interim city manager, Ann Marie Gallant, were placed on leave on December 28. Council members learned a week earlier that Highsmith had taken a job as interim city attorney for the City of Barstow when a video of Highsmith accepting the job was forwarded to them. But Highsmith has charged that her leave was an involuntary suspension levied as retaliation for her role in the leaks investigation.

She is asking for more than $10,000 in damages, though a specific amount wasn’t included in her claim.

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