Ocean Springs Says Psycamore Settlement Won’t Affect Raises

Officials for Ocean Springs tell News 25 a settlement with the Psycamore Psychiatric Clinic will not affect pay raises for city employees scheduled in next year’s budget.

Ocean Springs officials tell News 25 the city did not factor the possible settlement into its upcoming budget because the city was unsure what the final settlement will be. This month, the city is expected to enter into negotiations with Psycamore and the U.S. Department of Justice. The negotiations are the result of a federal investigation which found Ocean Springs had discriminated against Psycamore in 2011 for not allowing it to operate a clinic on Iberville Drive.

In August, lawyers for Psycamore filed a lawsuit against Ocean Springs, claiming the clinic experienced $814,000 in damages. But city officials tell News 25 they expect the final settlement to be lower and say the city will most likely borrow money to pay the settlement.

Billy Guice, attorney for Psycamore, says, “More than likely, it’s going to get worked out through the Department of Justice. If not, they’re also going to file a lawsuit [against Ocean Springs] and their remedies are much more Draconian than those available to a private citizen.”

In a separate lawsuit, the owners of the Iberville Drive property are demanding $405,000 in compensation from the city. Combined with the Psycamore lawsuit, Ocean Springs is facing $1.22 million in damages.

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