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In Harassment Deal, Sheriff Praises Woman He Fired

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa county will pay $685,000 in a settlement with a dispatcher who claimed she was groped and sexually harassed by the sheriff and fired after complaining.

Madison County Sheriff Craig Busch also provided a letter of recommendation to Kathryn Frank under the settlement. In the letter, Busch says the 15-year employee who he fired in 2009 handled 911 calls with "the utmost expertise" and was praised by officers for her "excellent skills."

The settlement avoids a third trial in Frank's lawsuit after the first two ended in hung juries.

Frank claims that Busch harassed her for years before he became sheriff in 2008, leading to an earlier $60,000 settlement. She says Busch retaliated by firing her for bogus reasons.

Busch said Wednesday he denies wrongdoing, but declined further comment.

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