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Workers comp insurer offers $1.7 million to end dispute with ex-CEO

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SAIF Corp. board members on Monday offered ousted CEO John Plotkin a $1.7 million settlement that would end the dispute between the insurer and the executive that began nearly three years ago.

A Marion County, Oregon, judge last week ordered the state-chartered workers compensation insurer to reinstate Mr. Plotkin on grounds that Salem, Oregon-based SAIF improperly terminated his employment in violation of state open meeting laws.

The negotiated settlement reflects back wages, benefits and attorney fees, SAIF said in a statement sent to Business Insurance Monday.

“Under this resolution, John Plotkin would agree to separation from the employment with SAIF effective May 9, 2014, and all claims to litigation would be dismissed,” the statement said. “This is not an amount of money we take lightly, but we can assure our policyholders that this will not impact costs or service levels. We look forward to finally putting this behind us and continuing to focus on our mission to help injured workers and make Oregon the safest place to work.”

Mr. Plotkin, reached by email Monday, said he expects a financial settlement will be reached with SAIF within the next few days.

“My first preference would have been to resume work as SAIF’s CEO, but that was not an option,” Mr. Plotkin said.

Mr. Plotkin previously said that as CEO he had worked in harmony with the SAIF board and had been given no warning about problems with his work when he was fired a few months into the job.