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Niagara Falls to pay contractor $75,000 to settle defamation suit

The Niagara Falls City Council will vote Wednesday on paying $75,000 to settle a 2013 defamation lawsuit a contractor filed against then-City Engineer Jeffrey Skurka.

Accadia Site Contracting of Depew sued Skurka over his critical quotes in the weekly Niagara Falls Reporter newspaper about the company's work on the Lewiston Road reconstruction project.

The lawsuit was dismissed by State Supreme Court Justice Kevin M. Dillon in 2014, but the following year, the Appellate Division reinstated part of it.

Corporation Counsel Craig H. Johnson said the city must pay the settlement because Skurka made his comments as a city official. Skurka will not have to pay anything personally, Johnson said. The newspaper was never a party to Accadia's lawsuit.

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