Charleston County airport officials have avoided a lengthy court battle in a discrimination dispute with the former Aviation Authority director.

After five hours of mediation Monday, the two sides came to an agreement.

Former airports director Sue Stevens will receive $270,000, according to her attorney, Nancy Bloodgood.

The two parties prepared a joint statement after reaching an agreement.

"Representatives of the airport and Mrs. Stevens met and were able to resolve Mrs. Stevens' employment issues in a manner that was acceptable to everyone," the statement reads. "All parties agreed that the airport is an important community asset and that this matter needed to be resolved amicably for the benefit of the Charleston region."

Bloodgood said she was pleased with the settlement.

"I am happy with it," she said.

Stevens, who sat in on the mediation talks, also agreed with the resolution to the case.

"I'm glad that we were able to come up with a reasonable settlement, and I'm ready to move on to the next opportunity," she said.

Stevens, who has lived in Charleston for 30 years, said she would like to stay in the area, but "it depends on what opportunities are available."

Airports Director Paul Campbell called the settlement with his predecessor "very good."

"They were very reasonable," he said. "We wish her nothing but the best."

The settlement must be signed off by two insurance carriers and the Aviation Authority, which are dividing the amount equally three ways, Campbell said. The insurers are AIG and the state's Insurance Reserve Fund.

The 13-member airport board held a special meeting Thursday which included a two-hour, closed-door session to discuss the case, including a dollar range of settlement options. Stevens filed a gender discrimination complaint against the Aviation Authority last year, alleging that certain members of what was at the time an all-male board belittled her and talked down to her because she's a woman.

The complaint was lodged with the S.C. Human Affairs Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last fall after Stevens suddenly resigned in July.

Bloodgood was prepared to file a suit in federal court if mediation failed.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or