Canyon County

Lawsuit claiming Nampa employee was wrongfully fired reaches mediation

The city of Nampa hired Michael Mieyr in December 2013 to be its deputy public works director.

Within less than a year, his time with the city was over.

Mieyr claims he was wrongfully fired on Oct. 24, 2014, in retaliation for raising issues about billing problems and harassment of applicants for a city job candidate.

He sued the city in federal court in 2015. On Tuesday, attorneys for both sides were scheduled to attempt to solve the lawsuit through mediation.

Mieyr’s attorney, William Thomas, said Tuesday afternoon that it was too early to comment, as mediation was still ongoing.

Mieyr says that after his hire, he discovered overbilling and underbilling issues around city water bills. The lawsuit claims Mieyr’s administrative staff found 1,300 commercial accounts with discrepancies and business that were billed at higher sewer rates. Mieyr claimed the city did nothing to correct the errors or recoup the lost revenues.

After the problem was discovered, the city forgave about 50 commercial accounts it had underbilled, according to the lawsuit. In a tort claim preceding the lawsuit, Mieyr said the city in one case was shorted at least $378,000 over a 10-year period because it billed a commercial account $350 per month when it should have been $3,500 per month.

In its response to the lawsuit, the city claims that Mieyr was not the one who discovered the discrepancies. Rather, an employee in Nampa’s IT Department found the issue before Mieyr had even begun working for the city.

According to the lawsuit, Mieyr said he learned the meter readers were not adequately trained, so he implemented training and testing for those employees.

At one point, the city posted a new position to aid a new automated meter reading system. The IT Department manager wanted to hire one person, while Mieyr believed another employee was more qualified. He alleges that employee was later verbally attacked by the city treasurer.

The city denies that allegation, and denies breaking any laws.

Mieyr alleges that he documented the harassment and spoke with a former city councilman about it.

Later, his lawsuit claims, the city’s human resources director accused Mieyr of colluding with his favored employee to get that employee hired in the IT position.

After a self-evaluation, in which Mieyr scored himself as “above performance,” he was fired, according to Mieyr’s lawsuit.