Grant Hughes awarded a judgment of $42,378.54, plus interest.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - A local judge has ruled against the City of Lawrenceburg and the City’s Board of Works and in favor of a former city employee.
Grant Hughes was the former mayor’s assistant and redevelopment director under former Mayor Dennis Carr. Hughes was fired by Carr just weeks before the mayor left office after losing a re-election bid in 2015.
Although the city’s Board of Works typically votes on firings, the mayor’s decision to terminate Hughes was made without the board’s approval.
Believing Hughes’ firing was more for financial gain at taxpayers’ expense rather than a lack of performance, current Mayor Kelly Mollaun’s administration refused to pay Hughes for the remaining time on his contract.
“This decision obviously seemed incredibly suspect from the start,” Lawrenceburg City Attorney Del Weldon told Eagle Country 99.3 Tuesday, “as Grant had served Mayor Carr the entire time he was in office. Grant stopped working immediately but still had a contract until March. While we did not fire Mr. Hughes, we certainly felt that it was unfair to the citizens of Lawrenceburg to continue to pay him for not working, so we voted at the first meeting of 2016 to stop paying him.”
That led to Hughes filing a lawsuit against the city later in 2016 alleging a breach of his employment contract.
On February 22, Dearborn Superior Court I Judge Jonathan Cleary awarded Hughes a judgment of $42,378.54, plus interest of eight percent per annum until paid in full. The figure is roughly half of what Hughes, represented by Lawrenceburg attorney Doug Garner, was seeking.
Weldon said the city is appealing the ruling to the Indiana Court of Appeals. The city has not paid Hughes as ordered by the judgment.
“It is ongoing and we are litigating our position aggressively, as we believe that it is what justice demands and what is in the best interest of the citizens of Lawrenceburg,” Weldon said.
Attorney Leanna Weissmann is representing the city in its appeal.