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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois county has agreed to pay almost $500,000 to settle a gender-discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee.

The Belleville News-Democratreports that the Madison County Board voted 23-4 on Wednesday to resolve the case involving former Regional Office of Education youth advocate Mary Parker.

Parker claimed she was paid less than her male counterpart - $13,000 less in one particular year - and was retaliated against when she complained.

A jury in November 2012 awarded Parker $100,000 in damages after agreeing with the retaliation claim, though they did not find gender discrimination.

A federal judge in August awarded Parker roughly $330,000 in back pay, benefits and future pay.

Parker had worked for the education office's truancy program. Her attorney says Parker now runs an animal shelter.

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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