State Labor Commissioner Lloyd Fields settled a federal lawsuit accusing the Democrat official of forcing out a Republican employee because of her political beliefs. A former Labor Department asbestos official, Laurie Allen, is being paid to drop the civil case. How much was not disclosed. Allen sued Fields, chief of staff Mannix Barnes and the Labor Department. The trial had been scheduled for this week. Allen alleged she was targeted because she supported Brenda Reneau, a Republican who was labor commissioner for 12 years. "I think he acted inappropriately with me in every conversation just about because of my association with Brenda Reneau,” Allen testified in a deposition. Fields ran against Reneau twice. He lost in 2002 and narrowly won in 2006. Allen, 43, contributed to Reneau’s 2002 campaign and marched with Reneau in a Yukon parade in 2006. Fields denied wrongdoing, pointing out in legal filings other Republicans are still employed at the Labor Department. Fields and Barnes also stated in legal filings they were not aware Allen campaigned for Reneau. She quit in October 2007 after being told her position was being eliminated because of a grant reduction. Before quitting, she also had been demoted and, at one point, told to transfer from the Oklahoma City office to Tulsa, according to her lawsuit. The director who moved into her office put up a "Yellow Dog Democrat” flag on a file cabinet. The settlement came after U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron refused in April to dismiss the lawsuit. The judge ruled jurors could find in Allen’s favor if they believed statements by Marcus Hayes, another former Labor Department employee. Hayes worked on Fields’ 2006 campaign and then, for a few months, at the Labor Department. Hayes was fired. In a deposition, Hayes testified Fields and Barnes talked "of getting rid of the people ... loyal to Reneau because ... ‘we can’t trust them.’” He testified Fields referred to Allen and another employee as Tweedledee and Tweedledum and talked of transferring them to Guymon or Tulsa. "The whole objective was to get them to quit,” Hayes testified. Allen’s attorney, Phyllis Walta of Hennessey, said she could not comment on the settlement because of a confidentiality agreement. The Labor Department’s general counsel, Bill Settle, also declined to comment.