U.S. contractor Alan Gross with his wife, Judy Gross, attorney Scott Gilbert, Sen. Jeff Flake, (R-AZ), Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-VT) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, (D-MD) on December 17, 2014, during his release from prison after being held in Cuba since 2009. (Lawrence Jackson/The White House via Getty Images)
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U.S. to Pay Alan Gross $3.2 Million

U.S. contractor was freed last week after five years in a Cuban prison

by
Stephanie Butnick
December 24, 2014
U.S. contractor Alan Gross with his wife, Judy Gross, attorney Scott Gilbert, Sen. Jeff Flake, (R-AZ), Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-VT) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, (D-MD) on December 17, 2014, during his release from prison after being held in Cuba since 2009. (Lawrence Jackson/The White House via Getty Images)

Alan Gross, the U.S. contractor who was freed from a Cuban jail last week after five years of imprisonment—the lead-up to President Obama’s announcement that diplomatic relationships between the two countries would be reestablished after nearly 50 years—has some more good news to celebrate. According to the AP, the U.S. government will pay Gross $3.2 million as part of its settlement with Development Alternatives Inc., the Bethesda, MD, company for which Gross had been working when he went to Cuba in 2009. He was working as a contractor–setting up Internet access for the country’s small Jewish community–under the larger auspices of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

According to NBC, “The $3.2-million payment came as settlement of a larger contractual claim for $7 million filed by DAI against USAID for incurred expenses related to the arrest and incarceration of Gross.”

The settlement, finalized on Monday, puts to rest a contentious, multi-year battle between USAID and DAI. USAID said in a statement, “The settlement avoids the cost, delay and risks of further proceedings, and does not constitute an admission of liability by either party.”

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

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