The Dakota County Community Development Agency will pay a $115,000 settlement to its former executive director, who was fired a year ago amid sexual harassment allegations.
Mark Ulfers, who led the agency for three decades, will get about $80,000 from the CDA and about $35,000 from the agency’s insurance carrier.
Ulfers initially sought a settlement of more than $160,000, amounting to a year’s salary and benefits.
Ulfers was fired last May after being accused of making unwanted sexual and romantic advances toward staff, treating staff differently based on gender, making inappropriate comments regarding gender and age, creating a hostile work environment and retaliating against staff for participating in investigations about him. Ulfers has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Housing and economic development consultant Tony Schertler replaced Ulfers at the beginning of 2016, taking over the agency’s more than 30 programs and 2,700 units of affordable workforce and senior housing.
Because Ulfers was fired for cause, the County Board declined to pay the severance in his contract. He took the county to arbitration and reached a settlement during a mediation session in March.
The County Board, which also acts as the CDA board, voted unanimously to approve the agreement, CDA board Chairman Mike Slavik said.
As part of the agreement, Ulfers will waive all claims against the CDA and release the agency from any liability beyond the settlement payment.
Reached by phone, Ulfers said he was unable to comment on the settlement per the terms of the agreement. He said he plans to stay in Minnesota and pursue other employment.