Capitol Alert

California Assembly agrees to pay six figures to settle lawsuit against former lawmaker

Then-Assemblyman Steve Fox of Palmdale talks to fellow member Chris Holden, a Democrat from Pasadena during a floor session at the Capitol on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 in Sacramento, Calif.
Then-Assemblyman Steve Fox of Palmdale talks to fellow member Chris Holden, a Democrat from Pasadena during a floor session at the Capitol on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 in Sacramento, Calif.

The California Assembly has agreed to pay $110,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a former employee of ousted Democratic Assemblyman Steve Fox of Palmdale.

After having worked for Fox in his Lancaster law office and subsequently the lawmaker’s Assembly district office in Palmdale, Kristina Zahn sued Fox for failing to pay her overtime and having her perform unpaid campaign work when she worked for his law office. Once she secured a job in Fox’s Assembly office, Zahn alleged, she was forced to continue working without pay in his law office.

According to a settlement agreement released by the Assembly, the lower house agreed to pay $11,000 to Zahn and $99,000 to her attorney. The document does not concede that Zahn “suffered any personal injuries as a result of any actions or inaction” of the Assembly or Fox. Fox’s law office agreed to pay another $15,000 to Zahn, according to the settlement.

Zahn was one of two employees to sue Fox for employment practices. Fox’s former legislative director, Nancy Finnigan, alleged that the lawmaker required her to perform work beyond the scope of her state Capitol duties and claimed that Fox exposed himself to her. Finnigan said she was fired after complaining.

That case is still pending and has not been settled, Assembly officials said. Fox, who was defeated in his re-election bid last year, could not be reached for comment.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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