Former Urbana Official Files Lawsuit After Termination
By Sean Powers
A former Urbana city official has filed a lawsuit against the city after she was terminated earlier this summer.
Back in June, Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing decided not to re-appoint Accounting Supervisor Liz Walden, who had been with the city for nearly 25 years. Walden has said she was given no explanation about why she lost her job. Walden did not return a request for comment.
Her attorney, Glenn Stanko, said Walden’s job was re-classified in 2009 from being a civil service position to one that’s appointed. Stanko said the Urbana Civil Service Commission wasn’t asked to consider the classification status, and he said the city didn’t have the authority to make that change.
“If the city could do that, that would just denigrate all the reasons why you have civil service coverage for people that’s designed to protect people from political decisions based on personal dislike or whatever,” he said. “That’s why you have a system designed that allows termination only for cause.”
Walden is married to Urbana’s former chief administrative officer, who Prussing let go in 2007. The Waldens are Republicans, and the lawsuit claims their termination may have been politically motivated.
Mayor Prussing declined to comment, saying she doesn’t discuss pending litigation.