Manager job worth a fight
Dennis Parker, a former general manger of the Yuba County Water District, filed a federal lawsuit Friday to get his job back with the district.
The court will hold hearings on March 27 at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 10 at the federal courthouse in Sacramento.
Since 1984, Parker worked as the water district's manager, but was fired Dec. 8, 2005, by the district's board of directors. The board deemed him unfit for duty incapable of performing the duties of general manger, according to papers filed with the state appeals court.
The filing requests that the court put an injunction against the district to prevent it from hiring another general manger in his place.
The termination followed five months of medical leave for Parker, who was treated for depression and anxiety, according to the court documents. The district told Parker the board thought he was not fit for duty
In a termination letter to Parker, Michael Colantunono, the water district's attorney stated the district had to operate without a manager for months and important work went uncompleted. “Neither you nor Dr. Schiro has explained how the limitation that forced you to take the leave are any less debilitating today that they have been throughout the last year,” Colantunono said.
“You and Dr. Schiro have presented no evidence that you are currently fit for duty or that you will be fit for duty in the foreseeable future,” he stated.
Parker's attorney, Joseph Maloney, declined to comment on the case other than to request that Parker's privacy be respected. But the basis of the claim is that Parker wants his job back.
Parker suffered a setback when Michael Colantunono, the water district's attorney, tried to renegotiate his contract while he was still ill, the complaint states.
Parker's physician, Dr. Herbert Schiro, recommended that Parker return to work on a flexible schedule, but the board chose to terminate him instead, according to court documents.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Daniel Witter can be reached at 749-4712. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.