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Rowland, Ryan End Defense of Decade-Old Labor Case

by Christine Stuart | Jan 24, 2014 1:22pm
(6) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Courts, Labor, Legal

Former Gov. John G. Rowland and Marc Ryan, his former budget director, dropped their legal defense of their decade-old labor decision on Friday, as the state enters into settlement negotiations.

In a statement from the lawyer the state hired to defend them, the two announced they would not pursue further legal action at this time.

“Governor Rowland and Mr. Ryan are hopeful that the Attorney General will be successful in his efforts to resolve this longstanding dispute,” Daniel Klau of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, said in an email.

Rowland and Ryan were being held personally liable for the 2003 decision to lay off 2,800 state employees. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that they violated the First Amendment rights of the union employees when they laid them off. The two disagreed and asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case, but last week learned the court declined.

The state had been paying Klau’s law firm to represent Rowland and Ryan. According to the Attorney General’s office, the firm has been paid about $130,644 since Aug. 1. On Aug. 1 the state, which had been represented by three law firms over the years, decided to move the case in-house. It’s difficult to say exactly how much of the $942,026 the state has paid outside law firms to defend the decades old lawsuit should be attributed to the defense of Rowland and Ryan.

“We welcome Governor Rowland and Mr. Ryan’s decision, as we are committed to moving forward with settlement discussions,” Jaclyn Falkowski, a spokeswoman for Attorney General George Jepsen, said. “We continue to believe the best course is to attempt to settle all claims in this case if we can in the best fiscal interests of the state, including the interest in avoiding additional litigation expenses.”

In December, the state dropped its petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a hearing and instead sought to negotiate a settlement with the unions.

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(6) Comments

posted by: art vandelay | January 24, 2014  5:19pm

art vandelay

I wish I could I could have sued my former company when I got laid off.  I should have hired a lawyer claiming my first amendment rights were violated.  I could have gotten my old job back w/ back pay.  RIGHT!.  Only in the public sector is this garbage ever tolerated.  A teacher who was looking at porn in his class while students were present was recently reinstated with $200,000.00 in back pay.  Don’t you just love the unions?

posted by: THREEFIFTHS | January 24, 2014  6:08pm

posted by: Art Vandelay | January 24, 2014 4:19pm

I wish I could I could have sued my former company when I got laid off.  I should have hired a lawyer claiming my first amendment rights were violated.  I could have gotten my old job back w/ back pay.  RIGHT!.  Only in the public sector is this garbage ever tolerated.  A teacher who was looking at porn in his class while students were present was recently reinstated with $200,000.00 in back pay.  Don’t you just love the unions?

I love you union haters. Who said you can not sue. Second maybe if you form your own union you would not have a problem.

posted by: Hebee | January 24, 2014  8:23pm

This decision isn’t surprising. Government Employee Labor Unions have been sticking it to taxpayers while rewarding incompetence and mediocrity for decades. The comical irony here is that the plaintiffs will pay their share of the fees and settlement costs in higher Connecticut Taxes.

posted by: art vandelay | January 25, 2014  11:25am

art vandelay

@THREEFITHS,
So what you’re saying is that you condone the actions of the teacher looking at porn in a classroom with students present.  Would you want your child in his classroom?  I wouldn’t.

posted by: RJEastHartford | January 25, 2014  3:19pm

THREEFIFTHS does have a point (or counterpoint) Today, with this new economic/corporate paradigm, I hear more talk among professionals about professional unions, not just trade unions. While the cable news tells us “unions are evil”, many professional workers are taking another look at it. After all Connecticut has a very educated workforce. It is no longer any either-or argument. Wages and benefits can be bargained up and can be bargained down. The point is, these professionals can have a voice and some collective power in this new corporate business paradigm. Losing retirement benefits, vacation time, health benefit plans with high family deductibles, no raises and eventually losing the high wage job while tax laws change, cheap money, accounting standards change, jobs and capital are off-shored to buttress business resulting in huge equity gains.

posted by: ko4478 | January 27, 2014  7:20am

Honest Johnny Rowland was and is a criminal who ruled like a despot. Personally, I look forward to the civil suite being brought against Honest John and his Crooked assistant Marc Ryan. Although, mark my words here, there will likely be indemnity for Johnny and his underling written into this settlement with the state.

What’s funny is listening to to the rabid right wing Republicons (spelling intentional) calling in to the radio show treating him like the all knowing Messiah of Connecticut politics. The self loathing that occurs in that party is beyond comprehension.

How dare working class or middle class people($25k-$300K )stand up for their constitutional rights (other than second amendment). The fact is if you are working without a contract, be it an individual contract with the employer or a collective bargaining agreement, you are just another slave working on the corporate plantation. Hope your Massa treats you well.