Ex-Revenue worker from Shaler sues to get job back
The state Department of Revenue can fire its mid-level supervisors for good reasons or bad because Pennsylvania is an at-will state, but the Constitution prevents the agency from firing supervisors for political reasons, a lawyer for a former supervisor said Tuesday.
Terrence J. Kennelly, 53, of Shaler is suing the agency to get his job back as well as compensatory and punitive damages. His lawyer, Tim O'Brien, said that while the courts have upheld political firings in top policy-making positions, they have ruled firings in non-policy positions unconstitutional.
Kennelly was a district office supervisor for the Revenue Department's Pittsburgh sub-office and did "virtually no policy making at all," O'Brien said. After the agency fired Kennelly in August, it didn't advertise the position before replacing him with Monroeville Councilman Bernhard Erb, 47, a Republican, O'Brien said.
"That kind of raises an issue," he said.
Elizabeth Brassell, an agency spokeswoman, said the agency is constantly upgrading its staff. The administration hasn't seen the lawsuit but believes it will turn out to be frivolous, she said.
"We're confident we've done nothing wrong," she said.
Amy Emili, 48, of Jeannette, the former district office supervisor for the agency's Greensburg office, claims in a separate pending federal lawsuit that the Corbett administration fired her and three other administrators who are Democrats to make way for Republicans.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Audit: Work of adviser in Pa. Dept. of Education hard to pin down
- Penn State THON organizers to review ‘canning’ safety
- Pennsylvania’s new online voter registration draws tens of thousands
- Lottery wants volunteer witnesses from Western Pennsylvania
- Wolf’s 320-mile trip amid travel ban ripped
- Penn State coin toss will omit alumnus linked to Sandusky’s charity
- Civil rights leader, subject of Kane’s alleged leak, Whyatt Mondesire dies at 65