By Taylor Sisk
CHAPEL HILL â€“ Kerry Bigelow and Clyde Clark, the Town of Chapel Hill Public Works employees fired last October for alleged insubordination and dereliction of duties, have filed a civil summons with Orange County Superior Court against the town and Town Manager Roger Stancil.
The complaint was filed Oct. 4. It asks that the men be reinstated and given back-pay, benefits and compensation for damages suffered. Bigelow and Clark now hope to have their cases heard by a jury.
After an investigation by a private firm hired by the town, the two men, now known as the Sanitation Two, were fired for alleged insubordinate behavior toward their supervisors, intimidating behavior toward supervisors and residents along their waste-collection route and failure to properly perform their duties.
Bigelow and Clark countered that they were dismissed in retaliation for grievances they filed
with management that alleged unsafe working conditions and racial bias in job placements and promotions. Both men are black.
They further alleged that they were fired due to their union organizing efforts.
Bigelow and Clark presented their cases in February to the townâ€™s Personnel Appeals Committee, comprised of Chapel Hill residents, which recommended not rehiring either of them. Stancil subsequently upheld those recommendations.
In August, Bigelow filed a suit against Stancil; Deputy Town Manager Florentine Miller; Public Works Director Lance Norris; Human Resources Interim Director Frances Russell; and Lilly Langer, a Chapel Hill resident who allegedly submitted a complaint against Bigelow and Clark.
Bigelow said on Wednesday that he has yet to hear from the town regarding either suit.