The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

December 8, 2013

Borough seeks halt to firing lawsuit

GREENVILLE — Nancy Little on Aug. 20 sued the borough, council members Brian W. Shipley, Pamela S. Auchter, Donald B. Shaw, Anthony D’Alfonso, Alfred Peden, Theodore Jones and Megan Heathcote, and Borough Manager Jasson Urey

Heathcote replaced Little, the fact which forms the basis of a claim of conflict of interest.

Little also charged that council violated her free-speech and due-process rights, her employment contract, wrongfully fired her and made misrepresentations to her.

“The majority of (Little’s) causes of action are premised upon the assumption that (Little) had a contract for employment,” the borough said in a motion to dismiss filed Nov. 19. “In reality, (Little) was an at-will employee who was terminated for cause.”

Little, 58, of One Homerun Drive, Fredonia, was hired in June 2009 and was fired Sept. 12, 2012. She said Urey told her council wanted her gone because of “breach of confidentiality” but never explained what confidentiality had been breached.

Little denied the accusation and said “any rules relative to confidentiality have not been uniformly enforced.”

The day before Little’s firing, Heathcote was appointed to fill a vacancy on council and participated in the vote to fire Little, Little said. Heathcote’s appointment to council was illegal because there were no public interviews, Little alleged.

Heathcote resigned Oct. 9, 2012, and was hired to replace Little.

“Ms. Heathcote was quoted publicly as saying that, if she had known that the position was becoming available, she would not have applied to be on council,” Little said.

Little also alleged Heathcote “harbor(ed) a desire for (Little’s) job.”

Little said her at-will status was transferred to a contract employee by way of the employee policy, which gives employees appeal rights.

The presence of an employee handbook does not transfer an at-will employee to contract status unless the transfer is the “specific intent of the parties,” the borough said.

Little’s civil rights claims should be dismissed because the borough is immune and she has not alleged the negligence required to overcome immunity, the borough said.

Little does not say how her free-speech rights were violated, and has not alleged that council has a policy or custom denying civil liberties, the borough said.

The ethics charge should be dismissed because a federal court does not have jurisdiction over the application and enforcement of this state law, the borough said.

Text Only
Local News
  • News briefs from April 18, 2014

    ‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation

    Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal

    Lung Association offering free radon test kits

    April 18, 2014

  • Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped

    A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple

    A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Tech waste eyed for new contact

    The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.

    April 18, 2014

  • WaterFire Rekindled

    WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014

  • 15-year-old legal battle returning to county court

    State Supreme Court has let stand a Superior Court decision sending a landmark medical malpractice case back to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    April 16, 2014

  • Southwest mulls how to adopt study points

    Even though some members of the Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department had little respect for a study of the department completed by a consultant, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. pledged to implement as many of the study’s recommendations as he could.

    April 16, 2014

  • Beader plans to resign, just not yet

    Democratic Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader acknowledges that he intends to resign, but said nothing will happen until after he meets privately with the county’s judges next Thursday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Wildlife fund for park Aiding Buhl Farm animals

    Some of Steven Jubelirer’s fondest memories of his mother, Natalie, was when they would walk together in Buhl Farm park, Hermitage.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • News briefs from April 15, 2014

    Man charged with attack on his wife in Walmart

    Woman arrested for stabbing man with knife

    3 injured in pickup-motorcycle crash

    April 15, 2014