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Sexual harassment lawsuit timeline

Kathy Cline brought her sexual harassment claim against Clay County and then-Sheriff Larry Costello more than two years ago. 2001 July 26: Clay County receives a letter from Cline citing allegations of harassment, assault, stalking and discrimina...

Kathy Cline brought her sexual harassment claim against Clay County and then-Sheriff Larry Costello more than two years ago.

2001

July 26: Clay County receives a letter from Cline citing allegations of harassment, assault, stalking and discrimination against her by Costello.

July 31: DeAnn Pladson, a Fargo attorney, is hired to investigate Cline's claims.

Sept. 18: County officials review Pladson's investigative report. Officials say the report can't be released to the media because of state data privacy laws.

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Nov. 9: Cline sends the county a letter detailing her claims, excerpts of an alleged conversation between Cline and Costello and a deadline to settle the case for $1.8 million.

Nov. 20: The deadline for the settlement offer passes, and Cline says the case will go to court.

Nov. 23: Costello, citing the public's need to hear from him, calls a news conference to deny Cline's allegations.

Dec. 5: Cline files her lawsuit against Clay County, stating Costello and nine other current and former officials violated her civil rights.

2002

Jan. 2: Costello files his legal response to the lawsuit through his attorney, Ann Goering of Minneapolis. The sheriff says Cline initiated a consensual affair with him.

Jan. 11: Clay County files its response to Cline's lawsuit, stating the deputy failed to follow procedures to report sexual harassment.

Jan. 15: Clay County commissioners adopt a new dating policy for employees to protect itself from future litigation. The policy aims to prevent "close personal or intimate relationships" between supervisors and employees.

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Jan. 30: Commissioner Ben Brunsvold files a separate legal response to the Cline lawsuit

May 10: Costello serves his last day as sheriff after retiring with a full medical disability for an injured back.

2003

Aug. 27: Lawyers draft an agreement in principle after 17 hours of talks.

Sept. 16: Clay County officials vote to pay a small portion of a settlement with Cline to end her lawsuit.

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