Columbus City Council last night approved a 150 thousand dollar settlement of a federal lawsuit filed by two women arrested along with porn star Stormy Daniels at a strip club last year.
Miranda Panda and Brittany Walters claimed they suffered emotional distress when they were arrested in what they say was a politically motivated sting operation by the vice unit. Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein dropped the charges against Panda and Walters a week later, and also dropped the charges against Daniels, who filed suit against several vice officers this month.
Council also approved a new three year contract with the union representing Columbus police. The deal gives officers and most supervisors pay raises of 3 percent a year, lowers their pension contributions, and raises their health insurance payments. The deal will cost taxpayers 46.8 million dollars. The last contract expired more than a year ago. Sponsoring Council member and former Columbus Safety Director Mitch Brown says this deal was recommended by a state fact-finder.
Council also voted to place the city's 1 billion dollar bond package on the May ballot. If approved, the money would pay for capital improvement projects and create a 50 million dollar fund to address the area's affordable housing shortage.