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July 16, 2008 - 8:34am

Kuzon sues village of Williamsville

posted by Philip Anselmo in city, city manager.

Batavia's Assistant City Manager Sally Kuzon is suing her former employer, the village of Williamsville, for breach of contract, according to the Buffalo News. Kuzon was the village administrator there from 2000 to 2007, when she left after she and the village board of trustees failed to agree to a contract. Kuzon was making $72,350.

She now says she is "entitled to $36,175 in severence pay above and beyond the $72,875 the Board of Trustees voted to give her back in September."

As village administrator, Kuzon worked under a generous contract, which included a take-home car for job-related and “limited personal” use, covered travel expenses for professional conferences and seminars, and payment of membership dues to various professional and local civic organizations.

And, key to the legal action now facing the village, it also entitled Kuzon to a lump sum equal to six-months pay if she was terminated without cause or not re-appointed.

Kuzon’s contract was renegotiated in 2003 under former Mayor Ray Hazlett to include even more favorable terms. It allowed her to be considered for merit pay in addition to her annual 3 percent raises.

It also stated that Kuzon could accumulate unused leave “without limit,” and be compensated for it up to the equivalent of a full-year’s salary if she was terminated.

Kuzon could not be reached for comment this morning. The Batavian left a voicemail message requesting that she please call us back.

[Village Trustee Jeffrey] Kingsley, a lawyer, has been particularly outspoken in questioning whether Kuzon is entitled to what she’s already received, whether she was terminated or had resigned, and whether the contract clause regarding benefit payouts applied to her decades of service with the village or just her accumulated time since her contract was redrafted in 2003. “I still believe, in my opinion, she was overpaid in excess of $30,000 back in September,” he said.

Also, Kingsley said, it is “mind boggling” that the village never sought a release from Kuzon regarding any future claims before depositing more than $72,000 into her bank account in September.

Kuzon filed a notice of claim with the village June 30. She has not returned calls seeking comment. The Damon and Morey law firm is representing Kuzon.

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