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Former Manhattan Beach City Manager Geoff Dolan must pay city $45K, judge ruled

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Geoff Dolan

Geoff Dolan

Former Manhattan Beach City Manager Geoff Dolan must pay Manhattan Beach $45,187 in attorney fees stemming from his breach of contract lawsuit against the city, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason ruled on Thursday.

The amount is half of the $88,760 the city had requested.

“We are pleased to recover a portion of public funds we were forced to expend in order to defend our obligation to disclose records and information related to the former city manager’s resignation,” former City Attorney Roxanne Diaz, who is still handling the case for the city, said in a prepared statement.

Last month, Dolan’s attorney argued that the $88,760 fee “is unreasonably inflated and includes a request for fees stemming from work not yet performed, as well as improper, duplicative and unnecessary services,” according to court documents.

Dolan sued the city last year for breach of contract and invasion of privacy after the city released an anonymous letter that accused Dolan of sexual harassment. Dolan argued the letter was confidential under his resignation agreement.

Dolan contends that the public release of the letter has prevented him from obtaining employment. The city was compelled to release the letter as part of a settlement with open government activist Richard McKee, and maintained that the public’s interest in the terms of Dolan’s resignation trumped his privacy interests.

Bryant-Deason dismissed the complaint in March under California’s Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) Law, which allows for an expedited dismissal of a complaint if it arises from an organization or individual exercising free speech about an issue of public interest.

Dolan has appealed the judge’s dismissal.

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