Fire District in Hot Water

1 decade 4 months 2 weeks ago Friday, August 03 2007 Aug 3, 2007 Friday, August 03, 2007 6:00:22 PM CDT August 03, 2007 in News
The attorney representing former fire district employees filed the first of what could be several more claims against the district today.

Separated by no more than a floor, the two attorneys representing the Boone County Fire District and a group of plaintiffs are back at it again.

"So, what you have is somewhat of an avalanche falling on the board because of the poor decisions of Paulsell and because of his conduct in terminating these employees," said David Moen, the plaintiff's attorney.

"This lawsuit, although they've changed they've changed the allegations a little bit, is essentially the same thing, a disgruntled, angry ex-employee who is suing the district," said Kent Brown, Boone County Fire Protection District attorney.

The new litigation involving former employee, Robert Brown, comes on the heels of litigation filed last November, arguing district chief Steve Paulsell and former assistant chief Sharon Curry had an unlawful and unprofessional relationship. At first, Moen says his plaintiffs wanted to avoid litigation.

"The hope has been in the last year or so that we could come to some kind of settlement terms with the board and it wasn't until late last week and the beginning of this week that it became certain that settlement was not an option with this board," said Moen. "And therefore, litigation is the only option we have and that's what we're choosing."

But litigation or not, attorney Brown says the case holds no water.

"The complaint, I read through it, was obviously drafted in a way to be as inflammatory as possible," said Brown. "I have already heard about and have taken a look at most of the allegations that are in the complaint and I don't think that they're going to be able to demonstrate they're true."

Three or four more claims are expected to be filed next week. Attorney Brown says the plaintiff in this new case lost in a review by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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