Village, former treasurer reach legal settlement

By: 
Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Review file photo

Former Kalkaska Village Treasurer Jennifer Standerfer is shown voicing concerns last year during a council meeting.

 

KALKASKA – The Village of Kalkaska has seemingly put yet another lawsuit in its rearview mirror, after reaching a settlement agreement with former village treasurer Jennifer Standerfer.

According to village officials, Standerfer will receive just over $10,665 and the village will also pay her legal representatives nearly $8,567 to settle a lawsuit filed by Standerfer after she was terminated by a council vote late last year.

Kalkaska Village President Harley Wales said he could not directly comment on the legal settlement reached by the two parties after Standerfer filed suit in the 46th Circuit Court.

“I can say that I'm glad we are closing an old chapter of problems for the village so that we can move forward in a positive direction with our new projects and renovations in the village” Wales said.

Standerfer’s lawsuit reportedly alleged the village violated Michigan’s Whistleblowers Act, failed to produce personnel records and was in breach of implied contract, as well as breach of contract, by firing her. Standerfer was seeking damages in excess of $25,000.

After serving as the village treasurer for eight years, Standerfer was fired last November by a split 4-2 vote of the Kalkaska Village Council during a public meeting.

At that time, trustee Tim Ellis made the motion to terminate Standerfer, citing that she had failed to sign a proposed work agreement, nor modified her work schedule to fit the terms of the proposal.

Those conditions included requiring Standerfer, who had been allowed to work at home, to be at the Kalkaska Village Offices from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Per the proposed agreement, Standerfer was also required to have any employment outside the village office approved by the village manager, Scott Yost. She reportedly runs a tax service out of her home.

In her defense, at the time of her termination, Standerfer said she didn’t know there was any deadline to sign the agreement and believed various details were yet to be fully negotiated.

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