CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. – A former records clerk can sue Nassau County, two of its political bodies and three local Republicans for allegedly conspiring to fire him based on his Democratic activism, a federal judge ruled.
Alan Fishman, a former records clerk with the Nassau County Legislature, says he was a “model employee” since he was hired for the bipartisan position in 2006.
A year after being hired, Fishman says he became active in the Nassau County Democratic Committee, where he campaigned for candidates and raised funds for the committee.
Peter Schmitt assumed the position of presiding officer of the Legislature on Jan. 4, 2010, and the Republican legislator allegedly told the clerk William Muller to fire Fishman.
Muller allegedly carried out the instruction about a month later.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, named with Schmitt and Muller as a defendant, allegedly knew the firing was political and did nothing to stop it.
Fisher says Schmitt’s spokesman Ed Ward, who is not a defendant, told him: “We don’t keep committee people.”
After Fishman was fired, his position was filled by a member of the Republican committee, and at least four other GOP operatives were subsequently hired to the Nassau County Legislative Clerk Central Staff, court documents state.
In addition to the three Republicans, Fishman’s lawsuit names the Nassau County, its Legislature and its Civil Service Commission.
Senior U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley gave Fisher the green light on Wednesday to pursue conspiracy, First Amendment and New York Labor Law claims. The judge tossed several other claims, including emotional distress for Fisher’s alleged loss of sleep, anxiety and depression.
Fisher said the firing distressed him so much that he needed to seek medical help.
He wants to be paid for his accumulated and unused sick, personal and vacation time, as well as front and back pay.