McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

May 7, 2014

City v. Green v. city ready for trial

McALESTER — A lawsuit that’s been simmering for eight years between the city of McAlester and former City Manager Randy Green is about to come to a boil.

Barring any last-minute changes for legal reasons, a civil trial in the case of the City of McAlester vs. Randy Green was set to begin today with jury selection at the Pittsburg County Courthouse.

Jury selection was set to begin at 9 a.m. in Associate District Judge James Bland’s courtroom on the second floor.

Three days have been set aside for the trial.

The case has been in the courts since 2006, when attorneys representing the city of McAlester filed a district court lawsuit on behalf of the city, the McAlester Public Works Authority and the  McAlester Defined Benefit Retirement Plan and Trust against the former city manager.

Green shot back by filing a third-party petition against the city of McAlester and several of its representatives.

In 2006, attorneys for the city as well as Green’s attorneys both filed amended petitions in which both sides sought monetary damages “in excess of $10,000.”

Green had been employed by the city of McAlester since 1977 and held the position of city manager from 1981 until his termination in 2005.

City councilors terminated Green as city manager in January 2005 in the wake of revelations regarding massive buybacks by the city of what was purported to be Green’s unused leave.

Green has already served and completed a 51-month federal prison sentence following his conviction on five counts of embezzlement during a March 2006 trial at the Eastern District of Oklahoma U.S. Courthouse in Muskogee.

Green was convicted of embezzling funds from the city of McAlester in the guise of a scheme regarding his selling of leave back to the city, although he has continued to maintain his innocence.

One of the main points of contention in the legal wrangling has been the amount of retirement the city is paying Green.

In the city’s amended petition, then-City Attorney Robert Ivester said “The Retirement Plan is presently paying to the defendant $3,694.11 per month as retirement as provided under the plan,”

“In computing the monthly payment plaintiff (the city) has excluded all buybacks which were obtained by the defendant by embezzlement and has excluded car allowance,” Ivester previously said in court documents.

In Green’s amended petition, his attorneys contend that  Green’s correct monthly benefit amount at that time should have been $6,554.55,

Green’s amended lawsuit names as defendants the city’s Defined Benefit Retirement Trust Plan and Trust; the city of McAlester council members who were acting as the plan administrator; Dale Nave, Greg Rock and Don Lewis, as well as the city councilors and mayor who were serving in 2003.

Lewis is a former McAlester mayor, while Rock and Nave are former city councilors. Rock is also a former acting mayor for the city of McAlester.

Mayor and city councilors who were serving in 2003 included Dale Covington, mayor, and former City Councilors Eric Fassio, Ward 1; Dave Attebury, Ward 2; Michael Dawkins, Ward 3; James Brown, Ward 4; Charles “Shorty” Repass, Ward 5, and Louis Smitherman, Ward 6.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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