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Sep 1, 2015 4:32 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Former Southampton Deputy Clerk Sues Town Over Termination, Other Issues

Sep 2, 2015 9:41 AM

A former Southampton Town deputy clerk has filed a civil rights violation suit against current Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer and the Town of Southampton.

The suit was filed on August 4 by Erin O’Connell, who was terminated on February 7, 2014, and alleges that she was verbally tormented, harassed, threatened, bullied, manipulated, lied to and retaliated against by Ms. Schermeyer while employed in her office. The suit also alleges that Ms. O’Connell was fired from her post two weeks after filing a human resources complaint against Ms. Schermeyer.

Ms. Schermeyer was not available for comment this week, but Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato said the suit—which also names current and past members of the Southampton Town Board, the town management services administrator/business management attorney and the town employee benefits supervisor—will be vigorously contested by the town.

“Sundy and the town will be defended to the fullest extent of the law,” Ms. Scarlato said. “The suit is of absolutely no merit.”

Among the claims in the suit, Ms. O’Connell accuses Ms. Schermeyer of lying about vacation policies, denying her unpaid lunch breaks, discriminating against Ms. O’Connell because of her young age, tampering with her human resources file, using abusive language and gestures, and attacking her verbally.

Ms. O’Connell, who is representing herself in the lawsuit, did not return calls seeking comment on Tuesday. She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, including for lost pay since her termination, reinstatement to her position, reinstatement of lost credit to the state retirement fund, and payment for reputation damage and emotional distress.

Ms. O’Connell is also calling for Ms. Schermeyer and Russell Kratoville, who serves as the management services administrator for the town, to undergo a review by the Town Ethics Committee.

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Oh no the incestuous town hall hiring club is busted again. Is there anyone in town hall not related to a politician or friends with one?
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Sep 1, 15 5:41 PM
chief1 , I think not.
By Resident tax (184), Hampton bays ny on Sep 1, 15 6:41 PM
She's representing herself? Probably a big mistake.
By HB90 (163), southampton on Sep 1, 15 10:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
If that doesn't sound like the most specious and fabricated lawsuit ever filed against a public official I don't know what is. Denied unpaid lunch breaks? Discriminated for her young age? Serving as her own counsel? I'm thinking this chick was canned because she is cray cray!
By em (51), sagaponack on Sep 1, 15 11:33 PM
2 members liked this comment
"Ms. Schermeyer repeatedly lied about vacation policies, denied her unpaid lunch breaks, illegally discriminated against Ms. O’Connell because of her young age. . ."

Uhh... this will play out in court (maybe), but really? How is it that you were lied to about vacation policies? You sign a contract when you are hired and the contract explains said policies.

How are you denied unpaid lunch breaks? You aren't being paid for them so... go take your 30 minute lunch? What ...more
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 2, 15 9:16 AM
U can be denied a break if your boss tells you you cant leave your desk/office/workstation/counter/whatever to go out. Have you never had a job?!
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Sep 2, 15 1:52 PM
2 members liked this comment
Oh please. As a management employee she had every right to take her breaks in accordance with her contract. We aren't talking about the Supervisor's intern who was scared and afraid, we are talking about the DEPUTY Town Clerk. If she couldn't say, "I'm going on lunch break, I'll be back in 30" then I question her ability to do the job at all
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 2, 15 2:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
if she did go on lunch break after being told that she can not go, this would just be one more thing on her record and another reason that they would use to fire her.
By Resident tax (184), Hampton bays ny on Sep 3, 15 11:18 AM
In theory, she should be noting the time of her unpaid lunch break on her time card. If she can submit time cards to the judge showing she didn't take these breaks - she will have a case for the Town violating labor laws.

It would have actually been in her favor if they added things like this to her record. NYS Labor law requires specific breaks based on hours worked - you cannot be denied that, even if the person "denying" you is your boss.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 3, 15 2:24 PM
I am uncertain as to what people mean when they say contract. Don't Deputies serve at the discretion of their boss? They have no Union protection so if a boss says they can't take lunch now or go on vacation when they want to what is their recourse? They challenge the boss? There is no mention regarding this person's evaluations prior to being fired. I guess this is another case where the reader can only speculate on what was actually happening in that office.
By metsfan2 (161), southampton on Sep 2, 15 4:23 PM
Kratoville has never had a good reputation. That is going back to when he was fired from Riverhead Town. There is nothing more corrupt when the head of HR, Kratoville, has had a very public relationship with the Town Attorney, Tiffany Scarlotto. Talk about the Town needing to review two powerful people.
By SHTownHB (75), Hampton Bays on Sep 2, 15 8:11 PM
2 members liked this comment
Apparently this makes over a dozen lawsuits/EEOC complaints against the Towns HR dept specifically in just two years. I think they need to re evaluate Kratoville and his side kick Sandra Cirincione. Paid over $100,000 salary for what? To open the Town up to lawsuits because they aren't handling internal complaints properly? Amazing how they are all in the same Political party..
By Turtlesaver (5), Southampton on Sep 2, 15 8:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
Oh Kratoville who's wife sued Riverhead Town, because she said Russell couldn't have sexual relations with her. That Russell? They were rewarded 110k from Riverhead taxpayers. That buys alot of Viagra. What a bunch of winners.
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Sep 2, 15 9:36 PM
2 members liked this comment
Oh yes that I do remember! I guess that's why he's dating a Town Attorney so she can represent him With his next "malfunction".
By SHTownHB (75), Hampton Bays on Sep 3, 15 4:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
Kratoville, overpaid kiss-ass and smoke blower. What has he actually done or do around there? I'm sure the staff wouldn't even think of going to him or Sandra with a problem. They'd just side with the people above them for fear of losing their own jobs. Basically the Town Board and Department Head puppets.
By lirider (288), Westhampton Beach on Sep 3, 15 1:41 AM
2 members liked this comment
Oh his wife finally left him?
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Sep 3, 15 8:09 PM
Kratoville did not fire the employee.
By metsfan2 (161), southampton on Sep 4, 15 3:30 PM