Kevin Valine

Council members meet in closed session to discuss one of their own

It must have been a little odd for City Council members Tuesday as they met in closed session to discuss one of their own – Councilman Doug Ridenour.

Ridenour has several workers’ compensation cases against the city from his time with the Modesto Police Department. Ridenour, 65, retired from the department in 2013 as a sergeant and was elected to the council in November 2015. He did not take part in the closed-session discussion.

The discussion was listed as “existing litigation” on the meeting agenda. City Attorney Adam Lindgren’s report from closed session was staff had updated the council and the council had provided staff with direction.

Ridenour – who is represented by an attorney – declined to comment until the matter has been settled. Lindgren also declined to comment except to say Modesto is treating Ridenour the same as it would treat any other current or former employee.

He said the matter will become public once it has been settled. That entails Ridenour and the city reaching an agreement and it being approved by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

Modesto attorney Markus Urstoeger – who specializes in representing injured employees in workers’ compensation cases – said employees file cases against their employers in nearly all of these cases. “For the most part,” he said, “it’s about money, but it also can be about medical treatment.”

He said cases are filed with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board when disputes arise.

Kevin Valine: 209-578-2316