Connecticut's Attorney General says he will sit down with union leaders to talk about a settlement in a damages case that dates back to the Rowland administration. To clear the way for talks, George Jepsen has withdrawn his appeal of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case.
The dispute stems from a wave of public sector layoffs implemented by Governor John Rowland in 2003. Unions representing more than 2,500 former employees sued the governor. This May, the U.S. Court of Appeals concluded in favor of the unions, saying Rowland had acted illegally in implementing the layoffs by targeting certain union members. But Jepsen filed a petition for a hearing with the Supreme Court.
Jepsen said he's withdrawing that petition because of the willingness of the unions to negotiate a settlement. "[It's a] difficult choice," he said, "but one I'm very comfortable making, one that I'm very confident is in the best interests of the taxpayers of the state of Connecticut. And we'll see -- we hope and believe the unions will be there negotiating in good faith. We certainly will be, and we'll see if an outcome can be reached."
Jepsen said his petition to the Supreme Court stood very little chance of being heard. He said he spoke to former Governor Rowland about his decision to pursue talks.