Ex-worker sues AC museum

By Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat March 19, 2013 08:03 am

The Angels Camp Museum’s former director has sued the city seeking back pay for unreimbursed overtime.

City Administrator Michael McHatten fired Craig Hadley in September, just weeks after the City Council approved the museum director position as a full-time benefited employee in the new annual budget.

McHatten declined to discuss the firing as a confidential personnel matter, but stated Hadley served in an at-will capacity as an independent contractor.

Hadley filed suit Feb. 11 in the U.S. District Court for Eastern California after a claim he filed against the city in November was dismissed Jan. 30.

The suit alleges between his February 2011 hiring and September 2012 dismissal, Hadley typically worked 53 hours a week although, he was paid an hourly wage of $27 for just 30 hours per week.

The complaint further claims Hadley remained employed “as an independent contractor despite the fact (the city) exercised control over all aspects of his work” and that McHatten told Hadley in March 2012 that he thought his contract was illegal.

The contract called for 30 days’ notice prior to its termination, according to the suit, but instead Hadley’s termination took effect immediately.

The City Council discussed the lawsuit behind closed doors at its March 5 meeting but reported only that it had given “direction to counsel” in regard to the matter.

In a report prepared for tonight’s City Council meeting, McHatten wrote that he has concluded contract negotiations with a new museum director candidate and completed a background check. The new director is expected to start work next month.

Hadley is now the head curator for the Douglas County Historical Society in Nevada.

Reached by phone Monday afternoon, Hadley directed inquiries to his attorney, Galen Shimoda, of Elk Grove. Shimoda did not return a phone message left Monday afternoon.