Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ex-Nonprofit Director Sues Indiana Mayor

The former head of a nonprofit in Hammond, Ind., has filed a suit against the city's mayor and the organization over allegations that she was wrongfully fired.

According to a report in the NWI Times, Carlotta Blake-King alleged that the defendants -- including Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., City Councilman Anthony Higgs, and United Neighborhoods, Inc. (UNI) -- conspired to remove her from her position as director at UNI in retaliation for her candidacy for City Council.

Blake-King ran an unsuccessful campaign against Councilman Higgs in 2011, whom Mayor McDermott supported.

For his part, McDermott said in a statement Monday that Blake-King's allegations are "completely untrue," and that her firing was due to her "unsatisfactory" performance as director of the nonprofit agency, which is partially funded by the city's Department of Planning and Development.

According to the complaint filed by Blake-King, she was fired after an alleged "special meeting" of UNI's Board of Directors, where she was allegedly "berated" by Phil Taillon, executive director of the Department of Planning and Development, over her character and performance. The complaint also alleges that Nicole Bennet, an attorney, stated during that same meeting that Blake-King's candidacy for office while holding the position of director violated a federal act that bars certain employees from taking part in partisan politics.

Blake-King, through her lawsuit, is seeking the wages and benefits she would have earned had she not been fired from UNI.

You can read the full story in the NWI Times.

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