Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy’s has filed a lawsuit in the name of the city against former Mayor Chip Clancy.
However, the lawsuit is not allowed under city law.
According to the city charter, the lawsuit she has launched against Clancy for back pay he is seeking and the hiring of outside counsel, was initiated without the consent of the Lynn City Council and the City Solicitor.
It is, according to those familiar with municipal law, illegal.
“The suit has no standing in court until she gets the OK of the city council and the city solicitor,” said a prominent local attorney familiar with the lawsuit.
“I frankly don’t understand how she could hire outside legal representation without getting the OK, first. Right now, the lawyer for the plaintiff (the city) is not authorized. How does she expect the lawyer to be paid?” added the attorney, who wished to remain unnamed.
Without the consent she needs, the mayor apparently leaves the city open to paying for Clancy’s lawyer’s fees, should he prevail.
Clancy’s suit is deemed a civil rights action by the courts.
Other local lawyers familiar with the ongoing case, which began some months back after Clancy put in for approximately $35,000 which he claims he is owed in back pay, vacation pay, longevity benefits and other payments due to him, do not believe the city council will approve the outside council and that City Solicitor Mike Barry is likely to do the same.
Lawyers for Regnante, Sterio and Osborne, a Wakefield law firm, are asserting in an action filed in Essex Superior Court in May, that Clancy shouldn’t be paid the money the city is holding, but in addition, the city should recover funds that they believe were wrongfully paid to Clancy while he served as mayor.
Clancy’s attorney, John Andrews of Andrews and Updegraph of Salem, contends that the city is illegally withholding salary, longevity and vacation time that Clancy earned while serving as mayor.
Clancy is seeking judgment against the City of Lynn. He is asking to be awarded damages in an amount to be determined at trial, together with interest costs and attorneys fees.
He is also asking for a jury trial.
The mayor’s office didn’t respond to a request for a comment about the lawsuit.
Former Mayor Chip Clancy declined to comment on the suit.