Erma Adkins filed her complaint against the town on Oct. 26 in Wayne Circuit Court.
Adkins was the town’s lone parking enforcement officer from October 1973 until March 3, 2016.
On March 4, Adkins said she received a letter saying the Wayne Town Council had voted to absorb her position into the Wayne Police Department.
“Two members of the Town Council, namely Jon Reed and Rosie Whipkey, who with other council members voted to terminate the plaintiff,” the complaint states. “Mr. Reed’s son Forrest Reed was hired as an officer for the Town of Wayne on Feb. 2, 2016. Forrest Reed then replaced the plaintiff in reading the parking meters.
“Forrest Reed commented that he was hired to read the parking meters every two hours. Mrs. Whipkey’s grandson … is employed through the defendant and also reads the parking meters.”
Adkins also says the Wayne Town Council previously had voted to cut her position to part-time in June 2012. Then, she also learned she would receive no benefits such as insurance or paid vacation.
“The defendant eliminated the insurance to drive the plaintiff out,” the complaint states. “The plaintiff had worked in this position for the defendant for over 42 years.”
Adkins says the firing “violates a substantial public policy.” She says she has suffered mental anguish, worry, distress, lost income, annoyance and inconvenience.
She also says the actions of the town were “so outrageous in character, so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency” with “reckless disregard for plaintiff’s rights.”
Adkins seeks compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief.
She is represented by Wayne attorney Donald R. Jarrell, and the case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James Young.
Wayne Circuit Court case number: 16-C-163