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Niagara Falls pays woman $36,000 to settle police hiring lawsuit

NIAGARA FALLS - A woman who sued the City of Niagara Falls after being denied a job as a police officer will be paid a $36,000 settlement.

The City Council unanimously approved the payment to Jennifer M. LaMarca this week. She sued the city in 2010, contending that she had been offered a job, but the Police Department changed its mind after she spurned the romantic advances of a detective who sat in on her job interview in 2009.

The city contended that it crossed LaMarca's name off the hiring list after a computer check showed she had not fully reported all her past civilian contacts with police agencies, as required on a pre-hiring questionnaire.

In February 2016, U.S. Magistrate Jeremiah J. McCarthy issued a 32-page report in which he recommended denial of the city's effort to have the case thrown out, saying factual disputes warranted a trial.

Corporation Counsel Craig J. Johnson declined comment on the details of the case, but he said the decision to settle was "a business decision as to what's best for the taxpayers of this city."

LaMarca's attorney, Jon Ross Wilson of Lockport, said he was glad the matter was settled, but declined further comment.

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