McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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May 8, 2014

Testimony continues in city of McAlester v. Randy Green case

McALESTER — Former McAlester City Manager Randy Green told a Pittsburg County jury that his termination from the city manager’s post in 2005 had nothing to do with the amount of unused leave time he sold back to the city.

“That’s a fiction,” Green said.

A jury consisting of five women and eight men has been  selected to hear the trial involving the lawsuit and counter-suit between the city of McAlester and the former city manager.

Associate District Judge James Bland seated the jury, as well as an alternate juror, shortly after 11 a.m. on Wednesday, then gave them a break with plans to get the case under way at the Pittsburg County Courthouse at 12:30 p.m.

Green testified Wednesday as the first witness called by attorneys representing the city of McAlester in a lawsuit in which the city is seeking $3.5 million in damages, among other things.

The city is not only seeking actual damages against Green, but punitive and treble damages — a legal term that refers to recovering three times the amount of the actual damages — as well.

In addition, the city’s attorneys are alleging Green had been involved in an improper transfer of proceeds from one revenue bond to pay on an earlier revenue bond — something Green has strongly denied,

Green has counter-sued, contending the city is paying him only about half of the retirement he maintains he deserves.

The city is paying Green $3,694.11 per month — with a quarter of that amount effectively garnished to pay restitution to the city.

Green’s attorneys maintain in his amended petition that Green should be getting $6,554.55 per month.

With the original lawsuit filed in 2006, it’s taken eight years for the case to come before a jury.

Attorneys on both sides Wednesday informed the jury that Green has already completed a 51-month federal prison sentence flowing his 2006 conviction of five counts of embezzlement from the city of McAlester.

Green served as McAlester city manager from 1981 until his termination by the city council in 2005 in the wake of revelations regarding massive buybacks by the city of Green’s purported unused leave.

Green testified Wednesday that his termination had nothing to do with the sale of unused leave.

Green said he was told he was terminated “for the good of the service” and there had been no mention of any unused leave buybacks in the letter he received from the city —first suspending him for 20 days, to be followed by his termination from the city manager’s post.

The city of McAlester is being represented in the trial by City Attorney Joe Ervin, as well as Greg Givens and Christopher Combs.

Green’s attorneys are Melvin Hall and James Polan.

Green’s amended counter-suit 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. Rock and Nave are former city councilors, and Rock is also a former acting mayor for the city of McAlester.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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