The town of Atherton paid a total of about $393,200 in attorney fees to investigate former finance director John Johns, and to fight the lawsuit he subsequently filed against the town, Atherton officials announced today.
With the $225,000 settlement Atherton paid to Mr. Johns in April, plus another $1,305 in an employee tax, the town's total bill is $619,500.
The town initially put the total figure at $618,187, but within minutes sent out a correction that included the Medicare tax paid as part of the back wages Mr. Johns received in the settlement.
Mr. Johns sued the town in 2008 over his October 2007 firing, claiming his termination was in retaliation for blowing the whistle on fiscal improprieties in Atherton's building and other departments.
In August 2007, he was put on administrative leave while a private attorney hired by the town conducted an investigation into complaints against him. The investigator's report painted Mr. Johns as a bully who may have improperly done outside work while on the town's time.
Mr. Johns called the report from the investigation flawed and inaccurate.