Legislator Joseph Bennett will be able to properly represent his district after months of litigation.
Bennett has been the subject of pending litigation since Republican legislators took legal action early last year challenging whether he can serve on the Legislature and be employed by Cayuga Community College at the same time. Because the Legislature votes on the college budget, some legislators considered Bennett's employment a conflict.
Since early last year, Bennett has been legally barred from voting until the litigation is resolved.
On Tuesday, Justice John Ark, who has presided over the case, was the last to sign a settlement agreement ending litigation that has dragged on for several months.
The settlement comes just a week after legislators met to discuss ending litigation. Last Thursday, legislators unanimously voted to adopt a resolution agreeing to the proposed settlement issued by Bennett's attorney Joseph Camardo.
The terms of the settlement, as agreed on by all parties, afford Bennett to resume his duties as Legislator of District 10 and voting privileges with the exception of anything related to Cayuga Community College. Going forward, he is required to abstain from voting on any college-related issues. Legislators also agreed that Cayuga County will reimburse Bennett for all attorney fees incurred totaling approximately $13,000.