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Portsmouth settles lawsuits with fired auditor for $300K

PORTSMOUTH (AP) Portsmouth will pay more than $300,000 to settle two defamation lawsuits filed by the city’s fired auditor over comments from council members about his job performance.

The city agreed to pay the amount to settle with Jesse Andre Thomas, The Virginian-Pilot reported. He had sought $1.5 million apiece in the claims he filed two years ago against Elizabeth Psimas and Bill Moody.

An attorney for the city says the settlement does not include an admission of wrongdoing by either council member.

Jurors sided with Thomas in Psimas’ case in November, ordering her to pay $775,000 in damages. In January, a judge slashed the amount to $150,000.

Moody’s case was scheduled to be tried this month, but it also was settled.

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