Johnson County settles lawsuit with former worker who claims boss attacked her

Shanti Sellz, seen here in 2016, was Johnson County's first-ever Local Food and Planning Coordinator.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The former Johnson County Local Foods and Planning Specialist will get more than $80,000 in a settlement agreement after claiming her supervisor assaulted her in 2017.

Shanti Sellz filed the lawsuit in 2018. It claimed her supervisor, John Busard, lunged at her with an open hand during a meeting regarding flex time off in 2017. After she reported the incident, Sellz lawsuit claims Busard and other county officials retaliated, leading to her firing shortly afterwards.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors approved the settlement of $81,959 Thursday, which includes $22,591 in attorney fees. As part of the settlement, the count admits no wrongdoing in the case. Attorney Amy Reasner recommended the settlement, arguing the settlement was less costly than the cost of litigation and distraction for county staff.

Johnson County pointed out the County's Human Resource department, County Grievance Review Board and Iowa Civil Rights Commission ruled against Sellz's claims.