Ex Water Department worker seeks to have accusers fired for lying about residency
Fri, 21 Mar 2014 19:59:57 GMT —
ince he was fired a year and a half ago
McDonald's life has changed for the worse. "I lost everything, my car my apartment... everybody's garnishing my check." McDonald told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon Friday. But now, the three people McDonald says played a role in his firing now face the possibility of losing their jobs for violating the residency requirement for Syracuse city workers.
onald worked for the
Syracuse Water Department until he was terminated in October 2012 for insubordination. McDonald says he reacted with a swear word after his supervisor called him stupid. 'It was like a little school kid being bullied in class." he said.
onald filed a human rights complaint
which was thrown out. But he knew that three of his former co-workers involved in his firing did not live within the city limits as required by the city charter.
Syracuse city employees have to sign an affidavit stating they live within the city limits. Syracuse lawmakers decided years ago, if you're paid by the city you should live in the city. The only exceptions are police, firefighters, teachers and sanitation workers.
onald researched tax records and verified the three men falsely claimed they resided in
Syracuse and actually lived in homes in Geddes, North Syracuse and Manlius. McDonald called the fraud line at the office of City Auditor Marty Masterpole Masterpole and his staff verified that McDonald was right. Masterpole cross referenced tax records and found two of the workers claim STAR tax exemptions on their homes outside the city. By law you can only claim a STAR exemption on your primary residence. Masterpolce says the third employee lives in Geddes even though the city denied a waiver for him to live there several years ago.
Masterpole told Kenyon, "They're definitely in violation. They live there, they own those properties. They have families, I understand that. I don't want to see anybody lose their jobs, but it's the rules."
CNY Central is
withholding the identities of the three Water Department employees because they have not yet been formally accused of wrongdoing. They have responded to our request for comment.
Chief of Staff Bill Ryan says he is "aware and looking into the complaint. You're messing with somebody's life, but certainly we're not going to tolerate somebody lying."
onald wants the city to fire them.
hey're living their sweet life off the city in those nice homes outside the city.
I live in a one bedroom apartment now. I'm barely making ends meet." When asked if their firings would be a measure of justice for him, McDonald responded, "somewhat but not totally."
McDonald says he now works as a trash collector for the Syracuse DPW for a fraction of the salary he made at the Water Department.