Whistleblower suit heating up as hearing looms
By J. PATRICK PEPPER
HEIGHTS — Action intensified last week in the whistleblower and discrimination lawsuit filed by a former department head against the city and Mayor Daniel Paletko.
Attorneys for the city on Wednesday filed a motion for summary judgment in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan seeking to have Judge Bernard Friedman toss out the three-count complaint for lack of sufficient evidence.
Attorneys representing the plaintiff, former Community and Economic Development Director Hassane Jamal, responded Thursday by filing their own motion for summary judgment requesting the court rule in favor on one of the counts, a Michigan Whistleblower’s Protection Act claim. They also requested an extension to respond to the city’s motion for summary judgment.
The response would be due by June 30, but a hearing scheduled for that day on the separate matter of whether new elements can be added to Jamal’s complaint could change what that response might say, the motion said.
The suit, filed in October, alleges that Jamal was fired for refusing to comply with what his complaint argues were illegal acts.
Central to the allegations are that Paletko urged Jamal to improperly apply federal funds for an emergency boiler repair at the Berwyn Senior Center. It also contends that Jamal was fired in part because he objected to Paletko hiring someone without properly advertising the federally funded position, something Jamal says precluded a minority candidate from getting the job.
Paletko has denied telling Jamal to break any laws in the Berwyn Center incident, and contends the hire he made was within legal bounds. He says instead that Jamal was fired for a number of performance-related issues, including insubordination and inability to work with others.
Jamal is seeking damages in excess of $75,000 and is represented by attorney Frank Rivers of the Royal Oak firm Stefani & Stefani. Father-son team Ronald and James Acho of Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho represent the city.
In addition to the Michigan whistleblower complaint, Jamal also is seeking damages on racial and religious discrimination grounds – because Jamal’s interim replacement was a white woman, mayoral assistant Krystina Kramarz – and on federal whistleblower protection statutes.
What will be decided at the June 30 hearing is whether or not the court will compel the city to turn over documents related to a different employee’s complaint against Paletko, and if the information contained is admissible in the case.
The complaint was filed by former mayor’s assistant Tina Foley and was requested outside of court by Jamal’s attorney.
According to the motion, “Ms. Foley’s claim apparently involved an allegation that the mayor had engaged in misconduct by uploading pornographic or sexually explicit material onto his City Hall office computer.” It does not say in the motion whether Foley’s claim ever was validated. Read The Rest Here
Source: Downriver Sunday Times
This explains why some things have been done in the last couple of weeks. That’s a post for a different day it’s late, and I have some things to verify before I write what I want to write, hope I will be able to do that by tomorrow until then. Oh, and please if you want to complain about me putting this up here go to the Downriver Sunday Times, and complain there. This was printed in that newspaper, and on their website, so any complaints please direct them at their website Thank You.