WESTFORD -- The town has agreed to pay a former police officer $30,000 in a settlement agreement, ending a near decade-long legal battle.

Mary Ann McShea, who served as a Westford patrolman for about eight years collectively starting in 1988, last filed an appeal with the state in October after her 2007 District Court trial out of Ayer. The policewoman suffered a fall on icy steps outside Westford's old police station while working in 1991. She suffered severe head and lower-back injuries and sought reimbursement from the town.

When the town's reimbursement of McShea's claims were denied in 2002 following her retirement, according to court records, she sought legal action.

The Board of Selectmen approved this past week a settlement for $30,000. After receiving the money, McShea will agree to drop all of her actions against the town. The contract also contains a clause that states neither she nor town officials will "make any oral or written communication to any person ... which has the effect of damaging either's reputation."

At last Tuesday's meeting, selectmen approved the agreement 3-0-1, with newly-elected Selectman Don Siriani abstaining. Selectman Jim Sullivan was absent.

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