On Monday, November 10, the Denver City Council approved Resolution 185, authorizing a payment of $438,968.80 to settle claims brought against the city by ex-firefighter Bill Cadorna, who was dismissed after being falsely accused of shoplifting a cookbook. Add that amount to back pay and the amount Cardona will receive roughly matches the total in the headline of our November 7 blog "Denver Shells Out $850,000 to Settle Costly Cookback Case."
The cookbook incident has already cost Cadorna his career and the city a great deal of embarrassment, not to mention the fireworks in the courtroom over a $1.2 million jury verdict in the firefighter's favor that was later thrown out -- the subject of our 2007 feature "Blackburned." So let's just call this the most expensive recipe for a bungled termination that assorted officials at the Denver Fire Department and city attorney's office have ever devised.
To find out more about how a $20 cookbook became the focus of a major criminal investigation and some very costly backlash in federal court, you can read actual transcripts from Cadorna's age discrimination lawsuit by following the links from the feature. -- Alan Prendergast
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.