Hill v. Borough Of Kutztown

455 F.3d 225 (3d Cir. 2006)


P, a licensed professional engineer, was appointed Borough Manager of D. P was responsible for the administration of all departments within the Borough and reported to the Mayor and the Council. Mayor Marino harassed D and other Borough employees. When he reported this to the Borough Council, the Mayor intensified his attacks on P as retaliation for this reporting. P's workplace became so intolerable that he had no choice but to resign. When P took office, Mayor Marino spread the word that he intended to get rid of D and other high-priced senior staff employees. The Mayor told the Chief of Police that he 'would make life difficult for him as a means to get him to resign as chief.' The Mayor behaved in a hostile and intimidating manner toward several other Borough employees, each of whom approached P and told him about this treatment at the hands of the Mayor. Mayor Marino also made several false accusations against P. P sent letters to the Borough Solicitor and had multiple conversations with the Personnel Committee of the Borough Council. P made oral complaints to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). P filed a complaint with the PHRC. Mayor Marino published a 'newspaper commentary' in which he accused P of 'irregular or illegal' allocations of funds, and of 'recklessly handling our money.' This accusation was false. P was 'subjected to scorn and ridicule,' including one incident where Ps son's employer confronted P and his wife and told them that he, the employer, had heard the Mayor 'was pursuing P concerning corruption.' P resigned. P then accepted a position with 'the engineering consulting firm that had for years served in the role of Borough engineer.' The Borough Council worked out a part-time emergency 'consulting' arrangement with that firm so that P could be made available to assist with certain urgent Borough tasks, such as budget preparation, in the period of transition to the new Manager. P’s replacement was twenty-seven years old, some fifteen or sixteen years younger than P, who was over 40 years of age when he left D’s employ. P sued Ds for harassment, defamation, and retaliation. P alleged that the Borough Council 'did not halt, reverse or lessen or otherwise materially affect the alleged offending conduct of the Mayor.' P asserted § 1983 claims for (1) procedural due process rights, (2) substantive due process rights, (3) equal protection rights, and (4) First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. P asserted a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq., and state law claims for (6) violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), and (7) indemnification and restitution. P asserted against the Mayor for a state law malicious prosecution claim. The court dismissed all of the federal claims against both the Mayor and the Borough and the PHRA claim against the Borough. It refused to hear the state law claims. P appealed.