Montco to pay more for insurance due to DA settlement

Posted: June 21, 2014

Montgomery County will have to pay 18 percent more for legal-liability insurance as a result of a $1.65 million lawsuit settlement by the District Attorney's Office.

District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman agreed to the settlement in May and issued an official apology to a Radnor contractor who said her office wrongfully charged him with theft and damaged his business reputation.

The charges stemmed from a 2007 contract dispute between Walter Logan and Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown, whose members included some high-ranking county officials.

County finance director Uri Monson said Thursday that in renegotiating insurance rates, the county's legal-liability premium increased $18,159.

"According to our brokers, that was entirely attributable to the payout [the district attorney] made," he said, adding that previously "that policy had not had an increase in its cost for several years."

The settlement was mostly paid by the county's insurance. But with legal fees, deductibles, and now increased premiums, the suit has cost the county about $288,000, Monson confirmed.

In most other areas, the county's insurance premiums will go down for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

"There are savings in the aggregate of around 6 percent, and that savings would have been greater had we not seen an uptick . . . as a result of that settlement involving the district attorney," County Commissioner Josh Shapiro said.

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