The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 31, 2012

Former Neosho city manager gets health insurance, not salary, from city

By Roger McKinney
rmckinney@joplinglobe.com

NEOSHO, Mo. — A federal judge has ruled that former Neosho City Manager Jan Blase is entitled to a year of health insurance for himself and his family.

However, he’s not entitled to nine months of salary, U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Maughmer ruled today.

Blase was fired on the city on Jan. 25, 2010, for using money dedicated to aircraft hangar construction for general city obligations and payroll and for failing to communicate with the city council.

Blase later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor official conduct and was fined.

He sued the city in federal court seeking severance pay of nine months of salary and a year of health insurance for him and his dependents, as specified in his employment contract.

The judge ruled that because Blase was fired “with cause” he wasn’t entitled to the salary benefit, which his contract specified he be allowed only if fired “without cause.” The health insurance benefit required only that the employee be terminated.