August 28, 2014

Elyria
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Former Avon official appeals firing

AVON — Former city streets superintendent William Biro, who was fired in January, filed notice Friday that he was appealing the decision of a hearing officer of the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission that he should not receive unemployment benefits.

A hearing officer earlier determined that Biro was fired for just cause by Mayor Jim Smith.

The appeal was filed by Biro’s attorney, Gerald W. Phillips, in the form of a lawsuit in Common Pleas Court. It was assigned to Judge Edward Zaleski.

The suit contends denying Biro benefits was “unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, contrary to law and not supported by the preponderance of substantial, reliable and probative evidence.”

Several weeks ago, Biro filed a $2 million suit against the city of Avon, Mayor Jim Smith and several other officials regarding his dismissal.

Biro was Avon streets superintendent from 1996 to Jan. 20, 2012, when he was fired by Smith after he allegedly violated terms of a last-chance agreement put in place after he was let go by the city in 2010 for failing a drug test. Biro was later reinstated.

In addition to compensatory and punitive damages, the lawsuit states Smith “illegally” dismissed Biro for failure to obey an order to clear French Creek of debris. The suit also seeks to have Biro reinstated to his former job.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.