A Trumbull County Judge has awarded former Newton Falls clerk Kathleen King a $250,000 legal victory against the city.

Judge Cynthia Wescott Rice issued a finding this week in favor of King, who sued Newton Falls City Council after members fired her in February of last year.

According to a court document, the city council gave King a $ 72,000-a-year contract in early November 2020. 

However, in December of the following year, newly elected council members decided that the previous council awarded the contract as an emergency measure without explaining why.  King reverted to an hourly employee with an effective pay reduction to $58,240 per year. Early the following year the council terminated King’s employment entirely.

In issuing her decision in favor of King, Judge Rice noted that under the terms of King’s contract, the only circumstances under which she would not be entitled to severance pay if terminated would be if King was convicted of a felony, which she was not.

Judge Rice has ordered the city to pay King $252,458.