- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Veterans Commission has reinstated its executive director, who had been on paid leave after jurors last month awarded nearly $3 million in damages to a former employee.

The commission voted 7-1 on Tuesday to put Larry Kay back on the job as the commission’s executive director, the Jefferson City News-Tribune (https://bit.ly/2aOm9xR ) reported.

Kay was placed on leave July 26 after a Cole County jury sided with former employee Pat Rowe Kerr, who claimed discrimination and harassment over her 2009 dismissal.

Attorneys for Kerr, who had been senior adviser for veteran outreach and sued the agency in July 2011, had argued she was dismissed because Kay has a problem with older, successful women. They also claimed that Kay showed favoritism to men and younger employees.

Kay and the commission had said her dismissal was due to budget cuts.

Jurors awarded Kerr $1.3 million in actual damages and nearly $1.6 million in punitive damages. Circuit Judge Jon Beetem amended his judgment last week, allowing “post-judgment interest on the amount of the judgment at a rate of 5.5 percent per annum until full satisfaction.”

Kay and the commission can appeal the verdict, though no such challenge had been filed as of Thursday.

Information posted on the state’s Accountability Portal shows that Kay is paid $105,408 a year.

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Information from: Jefferson City News Tribune, https://www.newstribune.com

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