Court narrows former Niskayuna rec director’s lawsuit over firing
NISKAYUNA The lawsuit brought earlier this year by former town of Niskayuna recreation director claiming she was unlawfully demoted and then terminated has been reduced to a claim based on her alleged termination.
In a ruling filed recently in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County, Justice Barry Kramer dismissed claims based on the former director Kathleen Gansfuss’ alleged demotions, but let stand claims based on her December 2012 alleged termination.
The claims based on demotions were either dismissed or withdrawn as the director missed deadlines to file. But Kramer let stand the claim that she was terminated, which was timely filed.
Kramer is expected to hear further arguments next month on whether Gansfuss lost her job based on bad faith on the part of the town, or whether there were legitimate economic reasons to cut her position, according to papers filed in the case.
Gansfuss worked for the town for more than 20 years before her job was eliminated in the 2013 town budget. She filed her suit in March in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County against the town and each member of the Town Board.
In the suit, she claimed that she was twice demoted, then finally terminated, with the actions “all done in such a way that it circumvented the protections of the Civil Service Law.”
Gansfuss is asking for her termination to be reversed and for reinstatement to her full-time civil service position, along with back pay and benefits, as well as attorney’s fees.
In addition to the suit, Gansfuss filed an Article 78 petition, also requesting that her termination be annulled and the town ordered to reinstate her to her position.
Gansfuss alleged she was demoted twice, then her position finally abolished for 2013.