Mary Zlotnick’s immediate future is still up in the air.
Zlotnick, a clerk in the city’s Accounts department, has made a number of claims against the city involving alleged improprieties in assessments of condominiums and homes. She was placed on a 30-day unpaid administrative leave after she was charged with several counts of misconduct and insubordination.
An administrative hearing into those charges was conducted over the past two weeks, concluding on Friday. A decision by the hearing officer is expected sometime in November.
The 30-day suspension period, meanwhile, was up on Monday, and Zlotnick should have been able to return to work, or at least begin to receive a paycheck again. However the attorney representing the city in the Zlotnick matter, Mark McCarthy, says when she goes back on the payroll is now a legal question. “There is a legal aspect to this. The unpaid part of the extension can be extended for the time they pushed for extensions.”
McCarthy says Zlotnick’s attorney, Mark Walsh, “needed extensions at various times because he had conflicts.” That’s not Walsh’s fault, says McCarthy, “because he was brought in at the last minute.” But it was Zlotnick’s choice to bring him in, even though he had those conflicts, he says. So “It’s her responsibility for the adjournment. That’s what we need to get clarified.” In other words, Zlotnick’s unpaid leave should be extended for an additional period to cover the extensions.
Walsh disagrees with McCarthy’s assessment. He says he was there for the hearings on both of the scheduled days – September 13th and 14th. In fact, he points out that it was the city’s attorney that needed the extension on Sept. 14th. “The city was not ready to proceed because Mr. McCarthy had a separate arbitration scheduled. So we accommodated the city and allowed Mr. McCarthy to conduct three and a half hours of arbitration while we waited.” That arbitration involved the Fire Department, and had been scheduled for some time.
The maximum time allowed for a suspension without pay, says Walsh, is 30 days, so Zlotnick should have been back on the payroll by Monday. However that has not happened.
On Friday McCarthy had said that Walsh would receive something in writing about Zlotnick's status on Monday. Walsh says nothing has been received.
McCarthy meanwhile says he hopes to speak with the city’s commissioners on Tuesday to come up with a final decision.
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