Robert ‘Mark’ Smith gets $960K in settlement, Kremmling will find buyer for properties
The town of Kremmling and Robert “Mark” Smith reached a settlement agreement earlier this month, four months after the town and two members of its police department were found liable in an excessive force lawsuit.
Smith received $960,000 in compensatory damages from the settlement, along with other considerations.
“We’re delighted with the settlement,” said Smith’s attorney, Darold Killmer of Killmer, Lane & Newman LLP out of Denver. “It demonstrates that Mr. Smith was right all along. The jury and the judge agreed with him, and finally Kremmling is providing a remedy, which is long overdue.”
Smith, a resident of Kremmling, filed a lawsuit against the town as well as against Police Chief Scott Spade, Sgt. Todd Willson and Officer Robert Dillon in 2015, alleging that members of the department entered his home and used excessive force while arresting him during an altercation in March 2013.
In October 2017, Smith was awarded more than $750,000 in compensatory and punitive damages from the town of Kremmling, Spade and Willson. Officer Dillon was not found liable.
The settlement, signed by Smith and Mayor Thomas Clark on Feb. 7, dismisses both Spade and Willson from the suit, and makes all damages compensatory instead of punitive, which means the payment is not considered an admission of wrongdoing of behalf of the town.
The settlement also forgives nearly $26,000 in water bills Smith was said to owe to the town.
The town’s insurance provider, Cirsa, has already paid Smith, according to Kremmling Town Manager Mark Campbell.
In the settlement, Smith also agreed to place his Kremmling properties up for sale, with the town paying to appraise the value of the properties and work to provide a buyer. Smith currently owns two residences in Kremmling, along with a mobile home park. The town will not purchase the property, according to Campbell.
The settlement presumably brings to a close more than a decade of dissent between Smith and the town, much of which was brought to public light during last year’s trial.
Campbell confirmed that both Chief Spade and Willson are still employed by the Kremmling Police Department, but declined to comment further on their status with the town.
“Let’s hope that we can all move forward with this agreement, and make it happen,” said Campbell.
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