Carl Greene argued that he was wrongly fired by the Philadelphia Housing Authority in 2010 over political rivalries and personal embarrassments. The authority said personal problems came to affect his job performance.
Settling four sexual harassment lawsuits against Greene cost the authority $900,000, and tax liens and a threatened foreclosure on his home were an embarrassment to an agency trying to collect rent from public housing residents, a housing authority lawyer said at a trial this month.
The settlement was "reasonable and fair," an attorney for Greene told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The settlement and earlier testimony went "a long way to restoring the integrity of Mr. Greene's name," attorney Clifford Haines said. His client had sought nearly $1 million in lost salary and benefits plus damages.
The authority called the settlement amount "a fraction" of the $4 million Greene originally sought. Interim executive director Kelvin Jeremiah told the paper that the agreement was "the right decision."
Mayor Michael Nutter said in a message posted online Saturday that the settlement involves no city money but was a federal matter between the authority and Greene.
During the trial, former governor and Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell described hiring Greene, a housing prodigy from Detroit, and credited him for the transformation of Philadelphia's housing stock. During his 13-year tenure, Greene razed dangerous high-rises and replaced them with attractive garden apartments and townhomes, Rendell said.
Countering that image, six female employees complained that Greene pressed them to attend supposed business dinners, only to badger them about their sex lives as he made advances. Authority attorney Steven Engelmyer alleged that Greene layered the six-figure settlements so he wouldn't have to tell the board, which had to sign off on payments of more than $100,000.
As the headlines hit about his money problems, Greene disappeared for days, ultimately acknowledging a mental health crisis and checking into a Maryland treatment center. He was later fired and a damning internal report about the sexual harassment complaints became public.
Haines, who called the firing the result of a political feud with the board chairman, said during the trial that the media and the board "played one another like a violin, at the expense of a man's career and his reputation." He said Greene, who now lives in Decatur, Ga., cannot find work in his field.