City refuses to pay attorney fees in spycam case

J.R. Harris says his pursuit of legal fees for his wrongful termination from the Charlottesville Fire Department wasn’t about the money, but about what took place.
Photo: Martyn Kyle J.R. Harris says his pursuit of legal fees for his wrongful termination from the Charlottesville Fire Department wasn’t about the money, but about what took place. Photo: Martyn Kyle

A personnel appeals board gave Charlottesville Fire Department mechanic J.R. Harris the job back from which he was fired last October, along with back pay and benefits. The city declined, however, to cover the $16,000 he spent on attorney fees to get reinstated.

Human Resources Director Galloway Beck said that’s because there’s no legal authority for the city to reimburse employees for personal legal expenses—even if the city’s actions caused the employee to require a lawyer.

“We’re considering litigation options now against the city and conspirators,” said Harris’ attorney, Janice Redinger, who maintained that he was fired because of fabricated excuses about his work performance and a bottle alleged to be alcohol that was found in his desk, leading Deputy Chief Emily Pelliccia to get the police to put a hidden camera in his office.

Harris returns to work March 23.

Posted In:     News

Tags:    

Previous Post

‘Sibling’ support: Hampden-Sydney alums launch fundraiser for Sweet Briar

Next Post

2.5 cents: Supes vote to advertise bumped-up property tax rate



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

7
Leave a Reply

avatar
0 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of