WINFIELD – A former planning commissioner for Winfield has filed suit against the town and its mayor, claiming he was wrongly terminated because he sought compensation for a defective draining system installed by the town.
George Armstrong claims he was working for Winfield's planning commission when he met with defendant Mayor Randy Barrett on Aug. 6, 2013, to discuss possible encroachment of the town's property on his own property.
"Plaintiff had filed a complaint with the Town of Winfield, stating that the drainage of the sidewalk projects that the Town of Winfield had installed were on plaintiff's property and that he wished to be compensated for the encroachment," the suit filed Sept. 5 in Putnam Circuit Court states.
In turn, Barrett became angry and sent Armstrong a letter, stating that he would be terminated from the commission on Dec. 31, 2013, according to the complaint.
When Armstrong went to the next planning commission meeting on Sept. 9, 2013, Barrett criticized his presence and informed him that he had no seat at the commission, the complaint says. He then asked Armstrong, in front of the commission and gathered crowd, whether he had received the letter of termination.
Armstrong replied that he had received the letter, but that the termination was stated to not be effective until Dec. 31, he says. He was told the letter contained a typo and that he already was terminated, according to the complaint.
"Defendant Mayor Barrett did not act with the approval or vote of council and terminated plaintiff without just cause and/or due process," the suit states. "Defendant Mayor Barrett publicly humiliated and embarrassed plaintiff by using his authority to admonish plaintiff in the presence of the planning commission and the citizens in attendance."
Armstrong alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress, wrongful discharge, negligent infliction of emotional distress and slander against the defendants.
In the complaint, Armstrong is seeking unspecified damages, plus injunction for a re-instatement to the planning commission, a public apology, attorneys' fees and expenses and other relief the court deems just.
David O. Moye of Winfield will be representing him.
Putnam Circuit Court case number: 14-C-236