Clinton leaders have voted not to pursue further legal action after the Civil Service Commission ordered the reinstatement of two firefighters who were fired in the wake an expensive lawsuit. The city council passed resolutions not to proceed with further appeals to District Court.
Mark Regenwether, who was serving as Clinton’s Fire Chief, and Andy McGovern, the former emergency medical services director, were dismissed after the city settled a lawsuit filed by a former fire department employee. The suit alleged improper billing of Medicare and Medicaid for ambulance runs.
That lawsuit was settled for the city to pay back the federal government $4.5 million over 10 years. The whistleblower, Tim Schultheis, is to receive 30-percent of the settlement as part of the federal whistleblower law. City council member Mike Kearney wanted more information about the resolutions and more disclosure.
Regenwether and McGovern appealed their dismissals and the Civil Service Commission ruled that: “Regenwether and McGovern are the victims of political fallout and were made scapegoats for the city’s decision to compromise and settle the lawsuit.” Arrangements have not yet been finalized for the two to return to work, as ordered by the Civil Service Commission.
But, Regenwether’s attorney John Frey believes that will be completed within a day or two after the council’s closed session following the Tuesday business meeting. McGovern declined comment after the meeting. After the Civil Service Commission ruling, some council members questioned the city’s settlement of the lawsuit.
Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton