Trial date for fired Willmar, Minn., utility GM is Jan. 15
WILLMAR -- A trial has been scheduled for Jan. 15 in Kandiyohi County District Court to hear the discrimination and breach of contract lawsuit filed by Bruce Gomm, former Willmar Municipal Utilities general manager, against the city of Willmar and the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission.
The scheduling order signed by District Judge Michael J. Thompson sets aside four days for the trial.
The lawsuit filed March 2 by Gomm, 44, of New London also alleges fraud, violation of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law and defamation by two city officials.
The lawsuit seeks a judgment of more than $50,000; reinstatement of his position with front pay and back pay; and a full one year's severance pay together with benefits in accordance with his contract.
Gomm also asks the court for costs, disbursements and punitive damages under the Minnesota Human Rights Act; reasonable attorney's fees; and for an order discharging the members of the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission for more than three violations of the state's Open Meeting Law.
The commission voted Feb. 27 to terminate Gomm, effective March 28, for policy violations and findings in a report from an attorney's investigation into possible misconduct by Gomm. Many of the findings in the lengthy report centered on hiring practices and decisions by Gomm, and others reflected communication problems between Gomm and employees and between Gomm and members of the Municipal Utilities Commission.
Gomm is represented by John Mack of New London.
The city is represented by Paul Reuvers of Bloomington. The city has denied the allegations.