County Settles Sexting Case

County supervisors decided in closed session on Tuesday to pay $30,000 to former Search and Rescue volunteer Valerie Walston, according to county counsel Mike Ghizzoni, “in return for her general release of claims or potential claims” against the county and its current and former employees. The payout is related to her allegations that former undersheriff Jim Peterson sexually harrassed her. Walston lost her job in October, shortly after Peterson abruptly retired. Walston’s original claim, filed in November, exceeded $10,000. Ghizzoni added there is “no direct connection between the settlement and any personnel action,” such as possible effects to Peterson’s pension.

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