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Denver DA will pay $7,500 to settle former top prosecutor’s gender pay gap lawsuit

The Denver District Attorney’s Office will pay $7,500 to settle a lawsuit brought by a former top prosecutor who claimed she was paid less than her male colleagues as part of systemic gender discrimination in the office.

The lawsuit from former Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney Adrienne Greene was settled Wednesday, court records show. Greene, a 25-year veteran of the district attorney’s office, alleged she was paid between $27,000 and $38,000 less than two male colleagues between 2017 and 2021, despite having similar qualifications and performing similar work. She resigned in January 2022 and filed the lawsuit in March 2022.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann disputed Greene’s allegations in court filings and characterized the pay disparity lawsuit as a baseless attempt to increase Greene’s retirement fund as she left the office.

McCann said in a statement Thursday that the Denver DA’s office did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement.

“We sharply disagreed with Ms. Greene’s claim,” she said in the statement. “However, in the interest of avoiding any disruption in my office and considerable legal fees over the next several months — fees that would have been paid with taxpayer dollars — it was clearly in the public interest to resolve this case for a small amount.”

An attorney for Greene did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday.

Greene’s accusations were the latest turn in a years-long saga over alleged gender discrimination within city government. In 2017, Denver agreed to pay $460,000 to an employee who sued on the grounds she was paid less than a male colleague and who said female attorneys in both the city attorney’s office and the district attorney’s office were being paid less than men in comparable positions.

The employee never worked for the DA’s office and the DA’s office was not named as a defendant in that lawsuit, said Matt Jablow, a spokesman for McCann.

The stipulated dismissal of Greene’s lawsuit states that both sides will pay their own attorney fees and costs.

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