HUNTINGTON -- A Branchland couple is suing the City of Huntington and the sanitary board for wrongful termination of employment based on age discrimination.

James Ashworth, vice chairman of the Huntington Sanitary Board, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On Aug. 11, 2008, Michael A. Hanley's employment at the Huntington Waste Water Treatment Plant was terminated and he was replaced by a younger individual, according to a complaint filed Aug. 10 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Hanley and his wife, Angela B. Hanley, claim the health insurance was canceled immediately after Mr. Hanley's employment was terminated.

The Hanleys claim Mr. Hanley was accused of a crime involving Ashworth's personal property. The Hanleys claim Ashworth used his position as board member to seek retaliation against Mr. Hanley for a crime that occurred at Ashworth's residence.

The Huntington Sanitary Board and the City of Huntington condoned Ashworth's "unethical behavior by allowing the wrongful termination and age discrimination of plaintiff Michael Hanley," according to the suit.

As a result of the defendants acts, the Hanleys suffered loss of wages; loss of pension/retirement; impaired ability to find employment due to accusation of a crime he did not commit; humiliation of having to tell friends, family, co-workers and potential employers of why and how he was terminated; fear of being wrongfully prosecuted for a crime he did not commit; depression arising from inability to find employment and Mrs. Hanley working two jobs to supplement income; physically affected from increase in stress, which resulted in hypertension and weight loss; and increases in stress from worrying about finances, according to the suit.

The Hanleys are seeking compensatory damages. They are representing themselves.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 10-C-590

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