Planning Director sues to get old job back


Claiming that she was demoted as the director of the planning department because of her political affiliation and beliefs, Alicia Terry is suing to get her old job back at her former salary.
On March 20, Ms. Terry and her attorney Bill Ryan filed a request for judicial intervention with the Supreme Court of Schoharie County. On Monday, court officials said the matter has been removed to federal court.
The court papers list Schoharie County, the Board of Supervisors and Shane Nickle, a senior planner, as plaintiffs.
According to court papers that were filed, Ms. Terry "is entitled to and requests reinstatement to her former position as Director of Planning, at the salary and benefits she would have enjoyed had the position not been abolished, together with full back pay and benefits retroactive to January 1, 2015, damages for loss to reputation and mental anguish and humiliation..."
The papers also seek an injunction annulling the naming of Mr. Nickle as lead supervisor of the department.
Ms. Terry's position as director was abolished during the 2015 budget deliberations. She was then named as a senior planner at a reduced salary.
"The county abolished [her] position and laid her off as Director of Planning based upon her political party affiliations and beliefs, in bad faith, and as a subterfuge to avoid the statutory protection afforded to her as a civil servant under the Civil Service Law and the New York State Constitution."
Ms. Terry had no comment on the lawsuit Monday and her attorney was not available for comment.
She has worked for the county for more than 24 years and became the Director of Planning in June 1995.
During her tenure with the county, Ms. Terry has also served as co-budget officer and head of economic development.
It was noted in court papers that Ms. Terry had more seniority than Mr. Nickle and possessed more rights to the position of director under Civil Service Law.
Mr. Nickle, according to court papers, has become the "de facto" director of planning this year.