Sept. 11, 2002
By PETER MALLER
A former village administrative assistant who is seeking $1.5 million in damages because she claims Slinger unfairly terminated her job is back at work.
Kathleen Bingen returned to her post Monday but said the lawsuit against the village will continue in federal court, where she is suing the city for allegedly discriminating against her because she has multiple sclerosis.
Village Clerk Dean Otte said in a phone interview Wednesday that Bingen was released from her job in January only because Slinger was without a village administrator after Gregory Knowles was forced to resign in December.
Lacking an administrator to assist, there was no reason for Bingen to continue at her job, he said. However, after the village hired Patrick DeGrave to replace Knowles last month, Bingen's services were needed again, Otte said.
Otte said he was aware that Bingen's suit against the village would continue but said that was an "immaterial issue."
Bingen declined to discuss details of her legal case.
She said she enjoys working with DeGrave.
In the legal claim, filed in April by Janesville attorney Scott Schroeder, Bingen alleged that the decision to terminate her was politically motivated due to "the discriminatory animus of Sharon Grudzinski, village president, and Village Clerk Dean Otte."
Grudzinski did not return a phone message left by reporter.
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