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Township to Soon Respond to Former Manager's Lawsuit

Greg Smith was fired as township manager in December 2008.

Moon Township's former, long-time manager said he is suing the township and its for severance pay and more than $200,000 in damages. 

Greg Smith, who was Moon Township manager from 1984 to 2008, filed the suit July 13 in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

Smith claims in the suit that he was terminated unlawfully for acting as a whistle-blower against unethical activity in the township.

Smith said he was wrongfully fired from his position in late 2008. He is suing the township in addition to individual supervisors Jim Vitale, Frank Sinatra and Marv Eicher as well as former supervisors Tim McLaughlin and Michael Hopper, who served on the board at the time of his departure. 

He said attorneys for the township requested 20 days to respond the suit and are slated to act on the suit later this month. 

Smith said he submitted notice of his resignation in October 2008. He began working for Moon's administration in 1982 and still resides in the community. 

"I had a number of issues with billing and charging for things that were not appropriate," Smith said of the reasons for his resignation. "I tried to resolve those things with the board, but they were not resolved." 

Smith said he was scheduled to end his tenure with the township in January 2009. His employment contract required him to give 120 days notice before his departure. 

He said he returned from a prior approved, weeklong vacation at the end of December 2008 when McLaughlin, who was chairman of the board, informed him he was fired. 

"I had asked about our [then township solicitor Michael Santicola] representing people who our police had arrested," said Smith of the reason he believes he was terminated. "I thought it was an improper relationship."

Smith is asking for 12-months pay and benefits and more than $200,000 in damages, including legal fees, he said. 

"I thought I was going to continue working until the end of my term," he said. "I said I need my severance, and it just never came. We tried to mediate, and it just hasn't been resolved." 

Members of the Board of Supervisors could not be reached for comment. 

Township spokeswoman Meghan McNamara said it is township policy to decline comment on matters of active litigation. 

"I don't understand why they are reneging [on the severance package]," Smith said. "The last thing I wanted to do was file this suit." 

clearfield August 12, 2011 at 02:28 PM
It came out some years back, under the Heinlein board, Smith was basically granted carte blanche when it came to his overtime filings. Apparently, there were no questions asked, and only those checks written.

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