Jerry Bilinski said he remembers when things began getting uncomfortable for him at the Clubhouse of Suffolk.
At that point, in 2009, computers at the Roanoke Avenue nonprofit, which provides mental health services, were starting to replace handwritten billing statements and the technology was available to flag double billings, he recalled. He also remembers a memo that the program director sent to the entire staff at the organization, saying its focus to round out the year in December needed to be on providing the service that “generates the highest revenue.”
Mr. Bilinski included that memo in a lawsuit he filed in 2012 against his former employer, which was unsealed last month. (more…)
A Hubbard Avenue resident who has been an outspoken critic of Gershow Recycling and who submitted legal motions in Riverhead Town’s lawsuit against the company has now asked the court to remove him as a witness on the case, citing health concerns.
Richard Luzzi, 79, who lives in the Riverhaven mobile home community adjacent to Gershow, was one of two Riverhaven residents who submitted affidavits to the court against Gershow.
But now Mr. Luzzi says he has been advised by his doctors to drop out of the case. (more…)
A longtime Riverhead Free Library employee is accusing the library’s director of firing her and before that, taunting her for months by using a derogatory old-school rap reference — all because the worker raised legal concerns over racially motivated hiring directives. (more…)
Riverhead Town’s lawsuit in state Supreme Court against Gershow Recycling is going back to the town Planning Board for the moment.
Town Attorney Bob Kozakiewicz said at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting that the courts have adjourned the case until the Planning Board makes a decision as to whether Gershow is a different use from the Fred J. Gallo junkyard that had been operating at the Hubbard Avenue site before them. (more…)
The former editor of The Suffolk Times has filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the newspaper’s parent company, claiming the news organization fired him last July because of his age, according to a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday.
In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Tim Kelly, 60, alleges that the newspaper’s executive editor, Grant Parpan, and publisher, Andrew Olsen, fired him based on “their prejudice against older workers in general, and [Mr.] Kelly in particular.”
Mr. Kelly — who had been editor of The Suffolk Times for four years at the time of his firing and had worked for the company on and off for a total of 15 years — was 59 years old when he was dismissed.
“[The] newspaper’s wrongful termination of [Mr.] Kelly based upon his age after so many years of faithful service and without basis is shocking and should be punished,” the lawsuit asserts.
One basis for the suit alleges that the company “caused the termination” of other employees in Mr. Kelly’s age range by “creating negative working conditions and/or cutting hours and benefits” and replaced them with workers under the age of 40.
Mr. Olsen defended the company’s human resources practices on Thursday.
“Times/Review is committed to being an equal opportunity employer,” he said. “Staffing decisions within the company are not based on race, gender, age or any other similar characteristic. Rather, all such decisions are based upon the business needs of the company.”
In the suit, Mr. Kelly pointed to past accolades he had won personally, and that the paper had won under his tenure, as evidence that his “work was always of excellent quality.” The claim states that Mr. Parpan was promoted to executive editor over Mr. Kelly in July 2012 “despite the much greater knowledge, experience, and education of [Mr.] Kelly.”
Mr. Parpan, who previously served as editor of Times/Review’s North Shore Sun for three years and later as the company’s web editor, declined to comment on the suit, referring questions to attorneys for Times/Review Newsgroup.
“All allegations about the lawsuit are denied in their entirety,” said Matthew Wolin, an attorney representing Times/Review.
Before his most recent stint with Times/Review, Mr. Kelly served for three years as public relations director for Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, according to the lawsuit. He also previously worked as a press secretary for former congressman William Carney and as editor of the Traveler-Watchman newspaper.
Mr. Kelly said Mr. Parpan, 35, had called him an “old man” in the year before his firing, according to the lawsuit. The suit further alleges that although Mr. Kelly was informed of issues related to his performance a month before his firing, those “purported issues were entirely false.”
In July, Mr. Parpan and Mr. Olsen told Mr. Kelly that the company was “going in another direction” and that he was being fired, according to the suit.
Shortly thereafter, court papers state, Mr. Olsen told Mr. Kelly his position had been eliminated, that his firing met “business needs” and that he was dismissed based on “performance issues.”
The lawsuit states Mr. Kelly is seeking $3 million for each of his three claims, alleging that he suffered economic harm and “anguish, embarrassment, suffering and humiliation.”
Given that the Times/Review is a party to this lawsuit, it was determined that it would not be appropriate for the Times/Review staff to reach out directly to Mr. Kelly or his lawyer for comment.