A rating agency review of Lee’s Summit bonds took into account a $15.5 million settlement with a man wrongly convicted of child molestation.
Fitch Ratings today affirmed AAA and AA ratings for $33.6 million of general obligation bonds, but mentioned the effect of the settlement on the suburban Kansas City municipality’s general fund.
“The general fund historically has featured sizeable financial reserves, although a one-time application of fund balance for a legal settlement in fiscal 2011 reduced the cushion,” the report said.
The report refers to the city’s settlement with Ted White, which his lawyers announced last month .
In 1998, White was arrested on false charges of child molestation against his then-stepdaughter. White served five years in prison before an appeals court overturned the conviction, after it came to light that the investigating officer, Detective Richard McKinley, was secretly involved romantically with White’s then-wife, Tina, the mother of the stepdaughter.
White sued in federal court. A $16 million verdict was upheld on appeal, but the city initially declined to pay the award, sparking a protest last year.