TAMPA — Six years and several court decisions later, former Tampa police Capt. Marion Lewis' fight with the city may come to an end.
City Council members could vote next week on whether Tampa will pay Lewis $350,000 to settle a lawsuit that alleges he was wrongfully terminated when he qualified to run for mayor in 2007.
In January 2007, Lewis left his job after city officials, who cited a state law, said he needed to resign to run for mayor because then-Mayor Pam Iorio was his boss. He didn't sign resignation papers and contended he was fired. At the time, Lewis called the city's application of the law "unconstitutional."
Hillsborough County Circuit Court sided with Lewis, but the ruling was reversed in appeals court. At the 2nd District Court of Appeal, the decision was reversed again and remanded to a lower court for a retrial. The Florida Supreme Court refused to hear the case in October 2011, leaving the city with the options of retrying the case or coming to a settlement with Lewis.
If the City Council agrees to the settlement, Lewis must sign a form releasing the city from any further legal action related to this lawsuit. Both parties also can continue to deny any wrongdoing in the case.
"This was a case that predated Mayor (Bob) Buckhorn's administration," city spokeswoman Ali Glisson wrote in an email Friday. "We had conflicting decisions from various courts. Mayor Buckhorn wanted to resolve the case, and put it behind us."
Council members are expected to take up the issue at their next council meeting on Thursday.
Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.