Free Speech




Friday, December 09, 2011

Alessandra Soler Meetze, ACLU of Arizona, (602) 773-6006 (office) or 602-301-3705 (cell)

PHOENIX – The ACLU of Arizona and the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) announced today that they have reached a settlement in a lawsuit involving KayAnne Riley, who was terminated last year from the animal shelter for allegedly failing to follow YHS policies and procedures. 

The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed in federal court by Riley on August 10 against several officials with the Yavapai Humane Society, the City of Prescott, City of Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall and City Manager Steve Norwood. The City of Prescott, Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall and City Manager Steve Norwood are not involved in this settlement and remain defendants in the case, Riley v. City of Prescott, et al. , which is still progressing through early stages of litigation.

"My support for the mission of the Yavapai Humane Society remains unchanged, and I encourage members of the community to join in supporting the Society’s mission to save animal's lives," said Riley, who worked as the Director of Marketing and Development for YHS from July 2009 to November 2010. 

Today’s partial settlement was announced by the ACLU and the Phoenix law firm of Martin & Bonnett, attorneys representing Riley, and by the law offices of Charles Anthony Shaw, the attorney for YHS and YHS Executive Director Ed Boks and Board Member Marty Goodman.

The partial settlement involves a payment to Riley in exchange for the dismissal of the YHS defendants only. No acknowledgment of wrongdoing is involved.

In addition, the settlement was recommended and approved by the YHS insurance company, and settlement funds are not impacting YHS activities.

“YHS settled as a business decision in response to potential legal expenses,” added Shaw.

Lawyers on the case include: Dan Pochoda, ACLU of Arizona Legal Director, and Dan Bonnett and Mark Bracken of Martin & Bonnett, who are representing Riley, and Shaw, who is representing the YHS defendants.  The parties have no further comment.

Read the initial complaint.