LIMA — The former manager of maintenance at the Allen Metropolitan Housing Authority is suing the agency for wrongful termination.
Traci Rogers filed the lawsuit Thursday in Allen County Common Pleas Court seeking more than $25,000 in damages, is asking for his job back with back pay since his Oct. 26 termination, and wants his work time retirement credit restored.
AMHA board Chairman Lamont Monford, who is the only person named as a defendant in the lawsuit, said he was not surprised the lawsuit was filed. Monford said neither himself nor the AMHA board did anything wrong.
“What transpired with Mr. Rogers, he brought that upon himself,” Monford said.
Rogers accused AMHA and Monford of retaliating against him for reporting to the former executive director, Cindi Ring, an issue with the former assistant executive director, Daniel Hughes. Hughes was accused of hiring someone from his church to perform computer work without going through proper procedures.
Hughes’ actions were investigated by the Ohio Ethics Commission and the agency found he used bad judgment but did not break the law, Monford said. Hughes resigned July 30.
Rogers also accused Monford of being out to get him because he publicly criticized Monford, the lawsuit said.
Monford said there was no retaliation. He said Rogers was fired for trying to delete files from Ring’s computer while she was on administrative leave and for illegally copying files to a disk.
Initially, when confronted, Rogers told Monford and AMHA Interim Director Anna Schnippel that he was transferring Ring’s e-mails to Schnippel’s computer. It was discovered later that he was trying to delete files but a computer technology worker helping him refused to delete files but did agree to hide the files on the computer, Monford said.
“That’s what caused him to be put on administrative leave which led to this termination not any personal vendetta,” Monford said.
Rogers accused Monford and AMHA of not following proper procedures to fire him. The lawsuit said those parties failed to properly notify him of the allegations and give him time to file a grievance challenging the allegations.
The lawsuit also said AMHA and Monford violated Ohio’s Open Meetings Act during the termination process against Rogers by not holding the meetings in public session or in proper executive session.
Monford said he and the board followed the rules in the investigation and termination of Rogers.
“I have nothing to fear and I’ve done nothing wrong,” Monford said.