Former Ada County Department of Administration Director Rich Wright has filed a $1.5 million wrongful termination lawsuit against the county.
Wright was terminated Jan. 15, the day after newly elected Commissioners Dave Case and Jim Tibbs were sworn into office.
In the complaint filed Tuesday, Wright claims he was terminated, in part, for ordering an investigation into allegations a manager with the Board of Commissioners office was harassing employees. The investigation resulted in a determination that harassment had occurred. The employee investigated was given the option of resigning or being terminated and chose to resign, according to the complaint.
The employee that was investigated is a personal friend of Case, Tibbs and former Ada County Commissioner Vern Bisterfeldt, according to court documents. The person actively participated in Case and Tibbs election campaigns and was invited by Case and Tibbs to attend their Jan. 14 swearing-in ceremony.
According to the complaint, Wright was told there were no performance issues with his work and his position was being eliminated as part of a reorganization. Wright's position was the only position eliminated in the reorganization. The complaint also says that Commissioner Rick Yzaguirre did not vote to terminate Wright and refused to sign Wrights termination letter.
Commission Chief of Staff Larry Maneely said late Tuesday that the commissioners were not aware the complaint had been filed and could not comment.