After months of legal maneuvers and depositions, a sexual harassment lawsuit against Pinal County Clerk of the Superior Court Chad Roche has been settled out of court.
The first-term Republican was hit with the lawsuit earlier this year after his former top deputy, Linda Martinez, accused him of firing her after she repeatedly rebuffed his sexual advances.
Part of the settlement, agreed to be released by both parties, states that it was reached to “avoid the expense and disruption of continuing litigation.”
Zachary Price, the attorney for Martinez, did not comment on what sort of financial compensation — if any — Martinez received as part of the settlement.
The statement, however, made clear that Roche denies any wrongdoing and provides a clear backdown on some of Martinez’s earlier claims.
“Although Linda Martinez believes she still should not have been terminated, she acknowledges that she may have misinterpreted or misunderstood Mr. Roche’s actions and comments, including those made in her complaint that Mr. Roche had marriage difficulties and a drinking problem.
“Finally, Mrs. Martinez acknowledges that the comments and actions did not constitute unlawful sexual harassment nor was she unlawfully terminated.”
Martinez worked on Roche’s campaign in 2010 and was named his chief deputy when he took office in January 2011. She worked for him until she was fired that June.
Roche told the Maricopa Monitor in an earlier interview that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated Martinez’s allegations between 2011 and 2012 and found no violation.