Sally Deitrick claims she was fired by Solon Mayor Susan Drucker because of her age, according to a lawsuit the former secretary filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
The 12-page lawsuit (attached to this article) recounts Deitrick's side of how her professional relationship with Drucker deteriorated between 2009, when Drucker won the mayoral race, and her firing in May 2011. Deitrick seeks $250,000 in damages for wrongful termination from both the city of Solon and Drucker.
Deitrick's take differs considerably from Drucker's account, which is spelled out in the letter Drucker sent Deitrick notifying her she was being fired. .
Deitrick, who is 60, claims that the mayor began to "target" Solon's older employees, including Deitrick. The lawsuit claims Drucker described some workers as "too old" and needing to retire.
Deitrick was replaced by a Maria Zavarella Farley, who the lawsuit says is 29.
"The discriminatory firing of Deitrick by Drucker and Solon is part of a pattern and practice of age discrimination against older and senior employees of Solon," the lawsuit reads.
In the lawsuit, Deitrick said she was "verbally abused" by Drucker and treated in a "hostile and threatening manner" during meetings with the mayor.
After a special city council meeting Thursday -- in which the to handle the defense of the case -- Drucker said she would not comment beyond saying that she stands "one-hundred percent" behind the termination letter.
Solon Patch reached out to Drucker for further comment after reading the lawsuit, but has not yet heard back.
The reason for Deitrick's firing, according to Drucker's letter, was continued poor job performance.
The letter provides a long list of Drucker's complaints about Deitrick job performance, from routine issues such as not completing daily tasks and improperly keeping the office finances to more serious matters including inappropriately deleting computer files and a "lack of loyalty" about internal office matters, including "inappropriate sharing of information with the press and your co-workers."
In the lawsuit, Deitrick says those allegations are false.