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Most parties settle in elevator prank suit

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With one notable exception, all of the parties involved in a lawsuit stemming from an alleged elevator prank at the Dulles State Office Building have agreed to a settlement of the case.

Elizabeth M. "Betsy" Ormsby's state Supreme Court lawsuit against Michael W. Behling, her former supervisor at the Washington Street office building, continues.

Mrs. Ormsby, wife of Jefferson County Legislator Barry M. Ormsby, alleged she was duct-taped to a chair while working at the building in April 2006 and then, while bound, sent to several floors on an elevator.

She claimed she complained about the incident to Mr. Behling, the building's superintendent, but was told by him to keep the matter quiet. In exchange for her silence, she alleged Mr. Behling, also a county Legislator, offered to help her get a promotion.

Mrs. Ormsby's suit also named John Burrows, a former employee of Otis Elevator Co.; Jody Towles, a state employee who worked in the State Office Building, Clifford D. James, a building security guard employed by Securitas Security Services USA Inc., and Securitas. Otis Elevator was dismissed from the suit in April 2007.

According to a document filed Tuesday at the county clerk's office, Mrs. Ormsby has settled her suit with all of the defendants except Mr. Behling.

Eric T. Swartz, a Watertown attorney who represented Mr. Towles in the matter, said Wednesday that all of the parties and their respective attorneys signed confidentiality agreements preventing them from disclosing any terms of the settlement.

David A. Renzi, Watertown, who is representing Mr. Behling, similarly said he was unable to comment on the case beyond saying that the action involving his client is continuing. In earlier court filings, Mr. Behling, who lost his job in the fallout of the incident, denied any wrongdoing.

Watertown police investigated the incident, but no criminal charges were ever lodged.

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