Fired animal-agency boss appeals to council

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Villaraigosa fired the embattled Stuckey on Dec. 15 and announced that he was hiring Ed Boks, the outgoing head of New York City Animal Care and Control, as interim manager, effective Jan. 3. Lear asked for a hearing so Stuckey can address the council. Lear said Stuckey had been offered two weeks of severance pay by Villaraigosa if he agreed to resign, but Stuckey rejected that offer. Aides to the mayor indicated Stuckey asked for 11 months’ pay. Villaraigosa said that, both after becoming mayor and while he was still a City Council member and mayoral candidate, he let Stuckey know that he was dissatisfied with his performance. “I remember specifically we had a meeting up at Lake Arrowhead where we were doing disaster preparedness, and I told him, ‘My heart’s with you, but there has to be some changes made,”‘ Villaraigosa said. Ousted Animal Services Director Guerdon Stuckey appealed Wednesday to the Los Angeles City Council to overturn Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s decision to fire him from his $154,000-a-year post. In a two-page letter with supporting documents, Stuckey said aides to former Mayor James Hahn had offered him assurances of a longtime job or a substantial severance package when he accepted the job late last year. Stuckey’s attorney, Edward Lear, said his client performed well in his job, received compliments on his performance and was never reprimanded. “Notwithstanding the city’s representation of continued employment to Mr. Stuckey, he was terminated,” Lear wrote in his appeal to the council. “I made the decision to remove him because I felt he wasn’t doing the job.” Villaraigosa also denied he was bowing to pressure from animal-rights extremists, who often targeted Stuckey over euthanasia in city animal shelters and his lack of animal-welfare experience. “They had stopped targeting him several months ago,” Villaraigosa said. “I told them he would stay as long as there were attacks.” In listing Stuckey’s accomplishments, he and his attorney said the number of animals killed since Stuckey took office declined by 15.6 percent, the largest percentage reduction in four years. They also cited efforts to improve the treatment of animals with animal-cruelty task forces, better customer service, community outreach and better department management. Stuckey also has threatened to file a lawsuit for wrongful job termination. — Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more