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Ex-employee to LGC: Lock down $5 million

Last modified: 9/24/2011 12:00:00 AM
The Concord woman suing the Local Government Center over falsely accusing her of stealing computer tapes and then firing her has asked a court to hold $5 million of the center's assets in case she wins her lawsuit.

The timing is not insignificant. Attorney Michael Dunn said he wanted to claim access to the center's assets now, before the state files its own attachment. State investigators said in May the center owed cities and towns $100 million it overcharged for health insurance.

'It would be irresponsible for the plaintiff's counsel not to seek security for any potential award of damages,' Dunn wrote in the lawsuit.

Ruthanne Bradley was fired by the Local Government Center in 2008 and fired on accusations she had stolen computer tapes. The police and state labor board later cleared Bradley, but the center never retracted its allegations or offered Bradley her job back.

She sued in the Local Government Center in August for malicious prosecution, defamation, wrongful termination, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Her lawsuit didn't specify how much she was seeking in damages, but the petition to attach estimates the total could be up to $5 million.

In the petition to attach, which would preserve Bradley's access to the money if she wins her lawsuit, Dunn said the accusation and firing has caused Bradley to suffer headaches, nausea, heart palpitations, weight loss, paranoia, depression and anxiety. She has been diagnosed with depression and post traumatic stress disorder, Dunn wrote.

In her lawsuit, Bradley is seeking $1.2 million in lost future wages plus unspecified compensation for future medical bills and emotional damage. 'The damages suffered by Ms. Bradley and her husband, if fully compensated by a jury, would be in the range of $5 million,' Dunn said in the lawsuit.

The Local Government Center had not been served the petition yesterday.

The state's investigation, separate from Bradley's case, alleged Local Government Center officials had been illegally spending taxpayer money on benefits, charitable giving, catering and contributions to affiliates, according to am August summary of the report.

State officials have called on the center to reimburse cities and towns the $100 million state investigators said the center collected illegally for health insurance. The center has acknowledged that some of its corporate structuring was not done correctly, and is now facing a formal complaint from the state in court.

(Annmarie Timmins can be reached at 369-3323 or atimmins@cmonitor.com.)


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