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Howell Employees' Harassment Lawsuit Settled for $1.3M

The township insurance provider settled the claim, according to the News Transcript.

A harassment lawsuit brought by four Howell employees was settled by the township's insurance provider for $1.3 million, according to the News Transcript.

The suit accused former Howell Municipal Court Administrator Dominick Pondaco of using profanity and sexually explicit and abusive language in conversations with the employees. He allegedly referred to the women as "idiots" and "monkeys," as well as a derogatory slur for female genitalia.

The group will split the settlement  equally; three of the four employees have subsequently returned to work and one has retired, according to the article.

This article contains earlier reporting by Adam Hochron.
Lucretia B February 20, 2014 at 09:33 AM
Let me point out to you and to fellow citizens that Howell Township has always had a Town Council who met in front of the public to discuss a plethora of subjects. I encourage all citizens to watch Channel 77 where they may catch the airing of this Council meeting and meetings of the Board of Education, Planning Committee and others. You will learn things about your city you never knew. You will become very educated about whats being done on your behalf. You know the saying...be there or be square.
Carolyn Ann February 24, 2014 at 10:40 AM
I am glad the women won their suit, as no one deserves to be treated so poorly. A hostile workplace is purely the responsibility of the manager. He should have been dealt with, & by dealt with, I do not mean a paid administrative leave. FIRED is what it should have been. And what has happened to him? I'm guessing nothing or the article would have shared the info. As for these employees, I don't understand why there is not more support here. Would you want your mothers, wives, or daughters to endure 2 years worth of being called vile names, & I'm not talking monkey here. You want someone to pay for this? Then have the township lawyer bring suit against the Court Manager. It is time for all of Howell's "Good Ole Boys Club" to step back & re-access themselves.
dave ryan February 24, 2014 at 02:32 PM
I agree that no one should have to put up with constant abuse. My point is that why do I have to pay for it??? My argument is based on firing those responsible, not making the whole town share in the burden of such a high payment. That is patently unfair, don't you all agree?
Carolyn Ann February 24, 2014 at 03:12 PM
I absolutely agree with you Dave. The responsibility lies with Pondaco, & he should be heavily sanctioned. The man's reported income was greater than $75k, & unfortunately, there was tremendous back-peddling, when the suit was initiated. Howell Twp. was named in the suit because reports to the administrative board were ignored. Their answer was to transfer the women, & say they had no say in anything regarding the court personnel. I find that unconscionable. It had nothing to do with the court. I'm sorry to climb on my soapbox; I know you have read the story when it first became public knowledge. Pondaco should bear the brunt of the payment, & I sincerely hope someone in the township looks into it. Using vulgarity to communicate is totally not acceptable. Had they called him a male organ head, they would have been fired. Anyone know what Pondaco is doing, other than thinking he has no fault in this?
dave ryan February 24, 2014 at 05:51 PM
Male organ head? That is hilarious Karen!!! I've never heard it referred to that way. He must be a real posterior hole!!

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