Quantcast

Former city manager takes Winooski to court - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Former city manager takes Winooski to court

Posted: Updated:
Joshua Handverger/File Joshua Handverger/File
RUTLAND, Vt. -

Five years after his firing, former Winooski City Manager Josh Handverger's case against the city he used to run began in Rutland Federal Court.
      
He claims Winooski improperly fired him and is seeking unspecified damages. On September 30, 2008, the city council narrowly voted to terminate Handverger's contract. Those voting 'yes' cited poor managerial skills and a failure to discuss pending legal action against him when he applied for the job.  Handverger says he didn't attend that final meeting because it coincided with the high holy day of the Jewish New Year.

Handverger's attorney argues that the meeting on Rosh Hashanah forced his client to decide between his religious rights and his contractual rights. The Lawyer for the city of Winooski argued that it was Handverger's political gamesmanship that led to the conflict.

Tension began brewing in the spring of 2008 after Handverger attempted to fire the city's police chief, Steve McQueen. Complaints from residents and city employees about Handverger piled up by late-summer. Because his contract began in October 2007, the city could fire him at its discretion up to one year later. He and the city agreed to hold a hearing, but two days prior city spokespeople say Handverger raised the holiday issue. They offered to delay the meeting in exchange for waiving the protections one year on the job would bring. He declined the delay and the city moved forward with the meeting without him, arguing he wasn't even entitled to a meeting because he was still a probationary employee and could be fired without one.

Daniel Richardson is President of the Vermont Bar Association. He says the Supreme Court and others already tackled many of the unique issues posed by the case. "It's kind of a difficult case because what he has to essentially prove is that they removed him, or took a negative action, because of his religious affiliation," Richardson said.

In April 2007 the Town of Sutton, Massachusetts agreed to settle a sexual harassment claim against Handverger for $165,000. A co-worker claimed that she saw porn on his office computer and that he offered her a promotion not to tell anyone about it.

Related Stories:

Handverger suit before Vt. high court

Handverger Lawsuit Sent to Lower Court

Handverger Files Suit Against Winooski

Handverger Supporters Start Petition

Absent Handverger Fired By City Council

Handverger Under Fire Again

Winooski's Handverger Can Keep His Job

Investigator Clears Handverger

Winooski Residents Petition To Oust Handverger

Winooski Ousts City Manager Joshua Handverger

City Council Investigates Handverger

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Burglary suspects caught

    Burglary suspects caught

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:14:49 GMT
    Vermont State Police nabbed a pair of suspected burglars and believe they're linked to several other crimes.
    Vermont State Police nabbed a pair of suspected burglars and believe they're linked to several other crimes.
  • Sen. Jim Jeffords laid to rest

    Sen. Jim Jeffords laid to rest

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:12 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:12:17 GMT
    Sen. Jim Jeffords was one of Vermont's beloved public servants, with a career that took him from the hills of Shrewsbury to the U.S. Senate. Friday, in his hometown of Rutland, James Jeffords was laid to rest.
    Sen. Jim Jeffords was one of Vermont's beloved public servants, with a career that took him from the hills of Shrewsbury to the U.S. Senate. Friday, in his hometown of Rutland, James Jeffords was laid to rest.
  • Is it safe to move accused killer Elizabeth Teague?

    Is it safe to move accused killer Elizabeth Teague?

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:09:17 GMT
    The Vt. Dept. of Mental Health says scarce resources are part of the push to relocate alleged workplace shooter Elizabeth Teague to a facility with fewer regulations. Elizabeth Keatinge was at Friday's hearing.
    The Vt. Dept. of Mental Health says scarce resources are part of the push to relocate alleged workplace shooter Elizabeth Teague to a facility with fewer regulations. Elizabeth Keatinge was at Friday's hearing.
  • Police investigate death of 13-year-old in Hardwick

    Police investigate death of 13-year-old in Hardwick

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:10:40 GMT
    Investigators say a teen was found dead at a home in Hardwick Friday morning.
    Investigators say a teen was found dead at a home in Hardwick Friday morning.
  • Vt. police say all clear in Newport

    Vt. police say all clear in Newport

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:12:45 GMT
    Police say the threat is over in Newport. Thursday night, police had asked residents to lock their doors and stay inside while authorities searched for a gunman.
    Police say the threat is over in Newport. Thursday night, police had asked residents to lock their doors and stay inside while authorities searched for a gunman.
  • NY police try to ID pharmacy burglar

    NY police try to ID pharmacy burglar

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:39 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:39:59 GMT
    New York State Police hope the public can help identify a burglar.
    New York State Police hope the public can help identify a burglar.
  • Williston police try to ID paint thief

    Williston police try to ID paint thief

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:11:41 GMT
    Police are investigating an unusual theft at the Wal-Mart in Williston.
    Police are investigating an unusual theft at the Wal-Mart in Williston.
  • Driver of overweight big rig nabbed in Vermont

    Driver of overweight big rig nabbed in Vermont

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:20 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:20:31 GMT
    The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles says a trucker carrying part of a giant crane to a state bridge job had too much weight on his rig and too much alcohol in his system.
    The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles says a trucker carrying part of a giant crane to a state bridge job had too much weight on his rig and too much alcohol in his system.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.