Young files suit against White, Stanfield, city of LaFollette

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By Susan Sharp

Young claims that the actions of LaFollette City Recorder Lynda White and Mayor Mike Stanfield have caused him damages to the point that he is entitled to some financial relief. He has asked for $4 million.

The suit comes on the heels of a contentious city meeting where White attempted to speak out against Young and his alleged inappropriate conduct.

She has accused him of making inappropriate sexual remarks and of creating a “toxic work environment.”

At that time, Young warned White and the city council his right to due process was being violated. He put them on notice that a lawsuit could be the result.

On Thursday, he made good on that promise.

Young is alleging that Stanfield and White have conspired against him in an effort to remove him from his job, the suit claims. He claims their plan was “intentionally calculated, conceived and carried out in such a manner as to intimidate and harass him.” The allegations White has levied place Young in a “false light” and have “created a cloud over the Plaintiff’s (Young) reputation,” attorney David Dunaway said on behalf of Young.

White and Stanfield have allegedly attempted to have Young removed from office because he has spoken out about problems and illegal acts that have occurred in the city, according to the suit.

Among these are continued violations of the Tennessee Public Meetings Law, illegal use of city electricity by friends of Stanfield and the “illegal and unsafe conditions” caused by the people who used the electricity, the suit said.

Being added to that list is a discrepancy in the collection of taxes. In the circuit court filing Young asserts White has failed to collect taxes, as outlined in the city charter and under state law. She has “failed and refused” to follow Young’s directions. He claims that the tax collection has arbitrarily been enforced.

Young further claims White and Stanfield have maligned him in a vindictive and malicious manner for their own benefit.

As problems have persisted in the city, Young says he asked that City Attorney Reid Troutman intervene on behalf of the city. Young said in the suit he has asked that White and Stanfield be reminded what their duties are under the charter. Despite his attempts to keep the city operating smoothly, it has not, the filing said.

The suit also claims that as White filed her grievance against Young, she failed to follow city personnel policy.

While Young has asked the court to award him monetary damages, he has also asked the court to rule on a number of other issues.

Under the terms of his employment with the city, Young works with a contract that was recently extended into 2012. He has asked the court to verify that contract has precedent over the city’s personnel policies and procedures, the filing said. He also wants the court to rule that the grievance filed by White and subsequent actions taken by the mayor violate the terms of that contract. The result of that would be voiding the grievance and actions, according to the lawsuit.

Looking to the future, Young additionally asked the court to issue an order prohibiting any grievances against him from being handled in a manner that is contradictory to his contract.

Young also wants the court to keep watch over the city to ensure it doesn’t violate the Open Meetings Act by having it file written report twice a year as to how it is complying with the law.



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