Former economic director sues Sikeston, BMU

Sunday, September 26, 2004

SIKESTON - Sikeston's former director of economic development has filed lawsuits against the city and others for unlawful termination.

Lawyers for William O. Green, who was terminated from his job on Feb. 5, filed suit Friday in Scott County Circuit Court and are filing litigation in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri seeking monetary damages in connection with Green's firing. His lawsuit names as defendants the members of the Sikeston City Council, members of the Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities as well as City Manager Doug Friend and Director of Utilities Ed Throop.

Both lawsuits allege the termination of Green's employment occurred only after a "wanton and callous disregard" for Green's rights under the United States Constitution, federal and state case law as well as the city's personnel code. Green contends that an atmosphere of pervasive indifference to established and well-recognized principles of due process of law was allowed to persist within the city government and the Board of Municipal Utilities.

According to Green, the actions taken "significantly disrupted his personal and financial security" which prompted his seeking monetary damages to compensate him for the intentional misconduct of those involved, both collectively and individually.

"This litigation will serve to inform the Sikeston public and taxpayers about the failures of those entrusted with public service in the Sikeston community," said Green. He added he anticipates there will be efforts made to discredit him and to further isolate him from his friends and colleagues in the community.

"I strongly believe the overwhelming number of city and BMU employees with whom I served proudly during my 12 years with the city are honest, hard-working and dedicated people," Green added. "I do not now, nor have I ever had any complaints or criticisms of them or their service to the city."

He stated part of his motivation in the suit is to spare them the pain and suffering which he and his wife have sustained during the past year. But, he continued, the atmosphere in Sikeston must change. "I love this community and I have great expectations for it. However until necessary changes are accomplished, our community's future is clouded at best."

Contacted Friday, Sikeston City Attorney Chuck Leible said he was not aware of the lawsuits and would not comment.

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