LOGANSPORT — A retired Logansport police officer went to the City Council meeting Monday in search of answers as to whether the council believes she and a former colleague are entitled to the same vacation pay firefighters received earlier this year.
Cathi Collins said she and former officer Wes Peters sent a letter to the city, specifically Mayor Ted Franklin, asking to meet about a recent settlement agreement the city entered with seven former firefighters who claimed the city owed them back vacation pay after taking a buyout. The firefighters and their attorney split a $75,000 payout from the city and Collins and Peters, who also took a buyout at the same time of the firefighters, feel they are entitled to some money as well.
“At this time, we are respectfully requesting that the City of Logansport provide us with the same monetary settlement that was made to the seven Logansport City Firemen as a result of their action against the city,” the two wrote in an Oct. 2 letter.
Collins declined comment after the meeting referring to Monday’s letter, which asked if the city had come to any agreement to pay her and Peters, who could not make the meeting. The letter also pointed out the two asked that someone from the city get back to them within 30 days of the letter, which claims no one has. Franklin was not at Monday’s meeting.
“I am here tonight to see if someone from city government plans to respond in regards to our request,” Collins wrote in Monday’s letter. “If not, our only recourse is to proceed with legal action on the advice of our attorney. We were hoping to avert another court action wherein the taxpayers of this fine community would be the victim.”
The city wrote a $37,500 check to the firefighters’ attorney, and the remaining $37,500 will come from the city’s insurance company, Travelers Insurance. Firefighters who had accepted an early retirement buyout in 2010, of which Peters and Collins were a part of, filed the lawsuit claiming they were owed compensation for six weeks of vacation time. The seven former firefighters are Steve Crispen, William Hassett, Randy Landis, Kim Costello, Rex Danely, David Huff and James McMinn.
As part of the settlement, the firefighters agreed they would take no future legal action against the city for damages, lost wages or expenses they might have accrued while working as city firefighters, according to a court document.
City attorney Randy Head, who represented the firefighters but had to withdraw his involvement when taking the city attorney appointment this year, said after the meeting he was looking into their request.
“I’m researching,” he said. “They’re saying they should have been included and should get the same treatment as the firefighters, and we’re just checking to see if they’re situated the same as the firefighters are, or were.”
Asked whether the city will try to keep their claim out of court, Head said, “We’re trying to see if we can. That’s as far as we are right now.”