TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! SHOCK!!! AGE DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT AGAINST RIVERSIDE MAYOR & CO. ALLEGES POLITICAL VENDETTA MOTIVATED FIRING!!!
TKC NOTE: Here's an important presser hitting the streets this morning regarding important allegations WITH A POLITICAL CONNECTION in Riverside.
And so . . .
CHECK THIS PRESSER DETAILING A RIVERSIDE, MO AGE DISCRIMINATION HOT MESS!!!
The presser and lawsuit documents in full:
Former Riverside City Administrator Claims Age Discrimination, Long-time Political Vendetta at Root of his Firing
In Lawsuit Naming Mayor Kathy Rose, David Blackburn Claims Age Made Him Easy Target
March 19, 2013, Riverside, Missouri – Today in Platte County Circuit Court, the former City Administrator of Riverside, Missouri, David Blackburn, filed an age discrimination suit against the City of Riverside and Mayor Kathy Rose, claiming he was unfairly scapegoated for an over-budget development contract due to his status as the senior-most member of Riverside’s administration. The suit personally names Mayor Kathy Rose, who it claims called Blackburn into her office prior to his termination, and tried to force him into early retirement.
Today, Blackburn commented on filing the case, “I think that Mayor Rose thought that as a 63-year old man close to retirement, I’d walk away quietly and take the blame for Mayor Rose and the City Attorney not holding a contractor accountable to Riverside taxpayers. I’m a proud Riverside resident and a concerned taxpayer. Today with this suit, I’m trying to stand up against illegal use of taxpayer resources, and the targeting of people – and especially senior employees – who speak out against government waste.”
Mayor Rose personally fired Blackburn in a one-on-one meeting in her office in July of 2012. As the complaint details, Rose cited an over-budget contract with developer Greenfield Investments on the Hoover-Johnson Controls project, and the fact that it remained unsigned while the work was carried out, as grounds for Blackburn’s firing.
Blackburn, however, alleges not only that several other city employees bore greater responsibility for ensuring that contracts are signed, but that his solutions for reclaiming the unauthorized and excessive overpayment of taxpayer money fell on deaf ears. Four people – Community Development Director Mike Duffy, Finance Officer Donna Resz, City Attorney Nancy Thompson, and Blackburn – were overseeing implementation of the contract, with Thompson and Duffy holding primary responsibility. According to the suit, Board of Aldermen meeting minutes indicate that the Board was initially considering firing Duffy, renegotiating Thompson’s contract so that she would report to Blackburn, and suspending Blackburn. But after Mayor Rose’s allies won an April 2012 election, Rose allegedly persuaded the Board to fire Blackburn and keep the other employees. Blackburn was 63 at the time Rose terminated his employment in July 2012. The other employees were at least 10 years younger than Blackburn.
Also detailed in the suit is an additional motivation for Blackburn’s firing. According to Blackburn, Mayor Rose had expressed a vendetta against him for bringing to light a wasteful under-the-table contract initiated by Rose’s mother, former Mayor Betty Burch, and for encouraging the city to invalidate it.
Blackburn’s attorney, E.E. Keenan of the Keenan Law Firm, commented on the case’s significance, “David Blackburn has an impeccable record as the consistent voice of ethics and reason for the entirety of his 12 years within the city’s administration.
Mayor Rose is sorely mistaken if she thinks that just because he’s the oldest person in the room, she can target him for the mistakes of many others, and, in the process, do to the taxpayers of Riverside this great disservice. It’s time to bring accountability back to the city.”
Shortly after Blackburn’s firing, which followed his refusal to resign or retire, the city released its official newsletter which made mention of Blackburn’s departure. It inaccurately notes that he resigned.
Nancy Thompson will be joining the City of Columbia, Missouri, as its City Counselor, effective April 8, 2013.
Sonal Keenan, Business Manager, Keenan Law Firm, (816) 809-2100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sahil Bhatia, Riptide Communications, (765) 714-8394, email@example.com
MORE: TAKE A LOOK AT COURT FILINGS AVAILABLE FIRST HERE ON TKC!!!