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City council goes after clerks, but catches lawsuits instead

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The Westmoreland County town of Jeanette is seeing more than its share of employment litigation.

The problems began when City Clerk Ron Dinsmore took a medical leave in January 2008.

He was cleared by his doctor to return to work later that year, but the city insisted on a second opinion. The second doctor also cleared him to work.

Dinsmore alleges City Council members and the mayor began excluding him from meetings and making comments about his age. Dinsmore was 66 at the time. Eventually, the coun­cil voted to fire Dinsmore and replace him with Stella Rebitch, age 49.

Dinsmore sued, alleging age discrimination.

Now Rebitch is suing, too. Shortly after she became clerk, she ran afoul of City Council members when she warned them that bond money earmarked for a flood-control project was instead being spent on legal fees, landscaping and Christmas decorations.

The council fired Rebitch, prompting her to file a whistle-blower suit.

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