Former deputy town administrator files lawsuit against Surfside Beach over firing

Former deputy town administrator files lawsuit against Surfside Beach over firing
Source: WMBF News

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The former deputy town administrator of Surfside Beach, who was fired from his job in January, has filed a lawsuit against the town.

Attorneys for Jon Harrah filed the lawsuit against the town of Surfside Beach on Thursday. It states the plaintiff's firing was "unauthorized and illegal."

According to the lawsuit, Harrah became a town employee starting in 2012, initially on a part-time basis. Five years later, he became the director of the planning, building and zoning department, as well as the assistant town administrator.

On Jan. 23 of this year, four town council members voted to fire both Harrah and former town administrator Micki Fellner.

"The Plaintiff's termination was unauthorized and illegal in that the Defendant mandated … that no Department Head can be terminated unless for cause with the Administrator presenting to the Defendant's Town Council the basis for the cause," the lawsuit stated. "In Plaintiff's termination, the Town Administrator did not present to the Defendant's Town Council any request for termination for cause of the Plaintiff nor was there any cause for the Plaintiff's employment termination."

Harrah is asking for "actual, consequential and incidental damages," and attorney's fees and costs.

A message was left Surfside Beach's attorney seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Many in the community were outraged by Harrah's and Fellner's firing, calling the meeting where the decision was made "a fiasco" and referring to the four council members as "The Gang of Four."

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