The city has settled with former Gloversville Water Department Superintendent William Blodgett, who sued in the spring after he said department employees threw out his personal belongings.
Blodgett said Friday the city paid him $2,500 to settle the claim. Blodgett was represented by Gloversville attorney Edward Lomanto.
Blodgett filed suit, first in small claims court and then in state Supreme Court, alleging city employees did not give him time to retrieve family property after he retired from the department in July 2007 and moved out of the Water Department’s caretaker’s house on Easterly Street Extension.
In his suit, Blodgett claimed $3,700 worth of items, including various family memorabilia and a collection of antique oil lamps, were taken to the landfill.
The city’s special counsel on the case, Bryan J. Goldberger, said the matter was originally dismissed in Small Claims Court, but was revived when Blodgett was allowed to file a late claim in state Supreme Court.
Goldberger said the decision to settle was based not on the merits of the case but on the cost of litigation and a desire by the Board of Water Commissioners to move forward.
Blodgett said it was unfortunate city officials “did not step up to the plate” at the outset to pay his claim and instead forced him to take the matter to court.
“I’m happy with the outcome, but I’m disappointed the [water] board decided to go through all this and spend all this money on court instead of just admitting they made a mistake,” Blodgett said.
Blodgett said he originally asked for $900 in compensation but was denied. The lawsuit asked for $3,700, the value later placed on the property under the legal theory of triple damages allowed a tenant.
Blodgett said the two sides settled Dec. 4. He said he received a check from the city this month.
When Blodgett retired in 2007, he had a deadline by which to move out of the water department house. He said the personal property was removed and disposed of before that deadline.
Blodgett served the department for 33 years. He was promoted to superintendent in 1995.
Under his pen name, Jason Barrett, he recently sold his first novel, a vampire romance, titled “Dead or a Lie.” It is published by Syracuse-based Wild Rose Press.