Schenectady County

Worker challenges dismissal; county says she left early

A probation supervisor has filed a grievance against Schenectady County after she was fired Oct. 11

A probation supervisor has filed a grievance against Schenectady County after she was fired Oct. 11 for allegedly leaving work an hour early more than two years ago.

The Civil Service Employees Association filed the grievance on behalf of Theresa Knapik, claiming the county violated her collective bargaining rights.

Knapik was a probation officer in the county Probation Department. She was hired July 6, 1998, and was earning $57,811 a year when she was fired, according to county records.

Kevin Luibrand of Albany is representing Knapik in her grievance before an arbitrator from the state Public Employment Relations Board. Luibrand said no date has been set for the arbitration hearing. He said Knapik is seeking reinstatement to her job and back pay.

“We are looking forward to making the people responsible for her ridiculous termination held publicly accountable and not hide behind the word ‘anonymous’ and the generic term ‘county,’ ” Luibrand said.

County spokesman Joe McQueen said he could not discuss personnel issues. He said the county is conducting an “ongoing investigation about her and her employment.”

Luibrand said Knapik has an exemplary record and that the county violated her federal civil rights and rights protected by the county’s collective bargaining agreement with the CSEA. “These rights are designed to prevent people from hiding behind the name ‘county’ and then ruining people’s careers for personal reasons,” he said.

Luibrand said the county’s justifi cation for firing Knapik is slim, in that they had to go back two years to find grounds. He also said that the county never interviewed Knapik’s supervisor at the time, Mary Lolik, to determine if she allowed Knapik to leave early that day.

Lolik resigned as director of the Schenectady County Probation Department approximately a year ago after the county said she violated state and federal laws by improperly accessing a state computer database for personal purposes.

Knapik is also involved in a county court lawsuit with the city of Schenectady. She is trying to obtain four guns she says she purchased from disgraced former Schenectady cop John Lewis. The city contends the guns should be destroyed.

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply