Local News

Town of Cary named in employee lawsuit

Posted February 10, 2010 3:51 p.m. EST
Updated January 9, 2012 4:01 p.m. EST

— A Cary town employee has filed a complaint against the town and his supervisor, claiming abusive conduct that caused him depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

In a complaint filed in Wake County Superior Court Tuesday, Brent Reck, the town's zoning compliance supervisor, claims that the town's associate planning director, Ricky Barker, imposed "aggressive mistreatment" on him that forced him to take a leave of absence and be placed on short-term disability.

The town has "declined to take remedial action," the complaint says.

In the filing, Reck, a previous finalist for Cary's 2007 Employee of the Year award, claims that when he asserted that parts of his employee performance reviews were "unfair and lacking factual basis," Barker "focused increasing attention on him and imposed increasingly unreasonable demands on him."

Reck has asked to be transferred out of the situation, his attorney, Lisa Grafstein, said.

The complaint also alleges that Barker had been the source of conflict among the staff in the planning department for several years and that the town hired a consultant to address turnover and morale problems within the department twice.

"At the Town of Cary, employees are our most valuable resource, and we are proud of our long history of creating an excellent organizational culture and work environment that fosters their success," Cary spokeswoman Susan Moran said in a statement.

"We are saddened and disappointed by these allegations. We will offer a clear and vigorous defense to the claims and welcome the court's review of the matter," she continued.

Update Jan. 9, 2012: Brent Reck dropped the lawsuit in May 2011.