MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) - A lawsuit has been filed against Miami Township Trustees and its board president, Mike Nolan.
According to the court document, Former Township Human Resources Director Lisa deGuzman claims she was wrongful discharged from her position in May 2013. The employee began working for the township in October 2001.
A document, signed by Nolan and trustee vice president Charles Lewis, states deGuzman's position was abolished due to charges in the operations of the township. But, the lawsuit states otherwise.
deGuzman claims she told Nolan about inappropriate behavior, including sexual acts happening at the office, and was ignored. Specifically, the lawsuit states she reported incidents to the board of trustees, in which Nolan directed her to "keep quiet."
The former HR director also said Nolan pushed to have friends/acquaintances appointed to jobs, even though they were not qualified or did not properly apply.
Improper handling of the township's money was also cited in the lawsuit. According to the document, following deGuzman's termination for economic reasons, Nolan announced the township would give another $5.9 million to the Austin Road Development.
In an interview, Nolan told 2 NEWS that he believes the allegations are part of a political ploy. He is up for re-election in less than 2 weeks.
"I was shocked, not surprised, but shocked," said Nolan after learning of the lawsuit. "It was such a frivolous lawsuit and in almost 30 years of law enforcement experience that I have had, I've never seen such a politically driven, one week before an election, hit piece on somebody."
Nolan explained his reasoning for terminating deGuzman's position.
"It was the result of a 42% cut in our staffing," said Nolan. "She was our HR person. I felt that that position needed to be also cut by at least 42% and handle it differently. To pay someone over $100,000 to do half the job they used to do is irresponsible as a trustee."
But, the third trustee Deborah Preston says after reviewing the lawsuit and the specific complaints, she believes they are accurate.
Preston says she wasn't in the meeting when the other two trustees decided to terminate deGuzman's position.
"I was adamantly against the summarily firing an HR director of all positions. Myself and another elected official, the fiscal officer, we didn't want any part of it because of this potential outcome," says Preston.
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