Two former Greensburg officials file age discrimination lawsuits against city |

Two former Greensburg officials file age discrimination lawsuits against city

Jacob Tierney

Two former Greensburg officials have sued the city in federal court, saying they were forced out of their jobs because of age discrimination.

Barbara Ciampini and Frank Lehman, who respectively worked as planning director and recreation director, filed their suits simultaneously Wednesday.

Both lost their jobs with the city in February.

Lehman, 59, retired after almost 30 years with the city. He contends didn’t didn’t retire by choice. The lawsuit said city Administrator Kelsye Milliron and Councilwoman Cheryl Lennert met with him to give him two options: retire or be fired.

Ciampini, 58, claims in her lawsuit that she was called into a “surprise meeting” with Mayor Robert Bell, Councilman Donnie Zappone Jr., and police Chief Chad Zucco, where she was told she was fired and given until that afternoon to clean out her desk. She’d worked at the city about 35 years.

Bell declined to comment, referring questions to city Solicitor Zachary Kansler, who could not be reached Sunday.

Ciampini declined to comment.

Lehman could not be reached Sunday.

Ciampini was told she was being fired because the city planned to restructure her job, according to the lawsuit. She previously handled both code enforcement and planning, roles the city planned to split into two positions.

Her lawsuit says the explanation doesn’t make sense. She used to handle only planning until 2015, when the code enforcement officer retired and she assumed his duties.

City officials have never publicly said why Ciampini was fired. Council made the decision at a closed-door meeting Feb. 18, the day before the firing, according to Bell. The decision was made official with a unanimous vote at a public meeting in March.

Lehman’s lawsuit said he was given new job duties last year and tasked with creating new recreation programs. He created a kickball league and basketball camp. He was never criticized for these efforts until the day he was fired, when he was told he had not done enough, his lawsuit said.

Both lawsuits contend the firings are part of a wide-ranging effort to force out old city employees and replace them with younger people

The city replaced Ciampini with Jeffrey Raykes, 50, former deputy director of the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development.

Officials replaced Lehman with Lydia Kinkaid, 27, former Director at CitiParks’ Brookline Recreation Center.

Both lawsuits also allege the city forced out former police Chief Walter Lyons, 68, replacing him with Zucco, 47.

Lyons retired in 2016 following a dispute with the mayor.

The lawsuits also point to the hiring of Milliron, 29, as further evidence of alleged age discrimination. Milliron replaced Sue Trout, 54, who resigned last year to take a job in the private sector.

Ciampini made $73,500 a year at the time of her dismissal. Raykes makes $73,000.

Lehman made about $53,000. Kinkaid makes $46,000.

Lehman and Ciampini have filed discrimination charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Both lawsuits seek money for lost wages, damages and attorneys’ fees.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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