ARMONK, N.Y. – A notice of claim for a lawsuit by more than a dozen people affected by North Castle’s change in its benefits plan was accepted by the Town Board at its regular meeting Wednesday night in Armonk.
“I just don’t understand how three former elected officials can sue the town for a benefits package that, frankly, they don’t deserve,” Town Councilman John Cronin said.
After accepting the notice of claim, town labor consultant Michael Richardson gave a presentation on the flaws in the previous employee policy on benefits and paid personal days that he said would not be acceptable in the private sector today. In the previous system, some retirees collected full medical coverage and more than $100,000 in compensation for unused sick days at retirement, Richardson said.
The policy changes will save the town $17 million over several years, the Town Board said at a previous meeting.
The lawsuit has 19 plaintiffs who are either former employees or elected officials, including former Town Supervisor William Weaver. One current elected official, Town Justice Robert McGoey, is also a plaintiff.
The town breached a contract when it agreed to provide benefits to these individuals upon hiring them or swearing them in to office, said Ronald Dunn, the attorney representing the group. It is important to stop the town from further altering the benefits plan, Dunn said.
“It’s not just a fight against the cost now,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday. “It’s a fight against the subsequent changes as well.”
The cost of the benefit plans varied from person to person depending on how long they served the town, Dunn said. In the end, he said his clients just want what was promised to them.
“The basic goal is to restore the benefit package,” Dunn said. “The town should live up to their agreement with these people.”