Fifteen career prosecutors are suing Westchester County, claiming officials wrongly stripped them of pay by capping the amount of sick time they can cash-in on when leaving their jobs.
The assistant district attorneys say the county violated their constitutional rights and “breached the parties employment relationship” by imposing the changes after they had already earned the time.
“You can’t do that on a retroactive basis,” said Leonard Violi, a Mamaroneck attorney representing the prosecutors. “It’s common sense and fairness principles that are in play here.”
Violi said the retroactive elimination of sick day pay is effectively a breach of contract, which guaranteed the prosecutors would be paid 50 percent of their sick leave up to 225 days.
“We have career prosecutors who dedicated their lives to this location,” he said. “They went to work. They didn’t stay home. They accrued the pay. These ADA’s believe those are vested rights.”
They filed suit June 23 in state Supreme Court. The plaintiffs named in the lawsuit include the top three prosecutors in the Westchester District Attorney’s office: James McCarty Jr., Maryanne Luciano and John George, who had threatened to quit over the changes, but did not.
Other prosecutors in the suit, who all have more than 20 years in the DA’s office, are Steven Bender, Mark Garretto, Fredric Green, Edward Livingston,Patrick Moore, Patricia Murphy, John O’Rourke, Perry Perrone, Robert Prisco, Robert Sauer, Steven Vandervelden and Timothy Ward.
State Supreme Court Justice Nicholas Colabella issued a temporary restraining order barring the county from retroactively taking away the prosecutors’ accused sick pay.
The case is due back in court on July 23.