A jury in U.S. District Court in Southern Illinois has ruled in favor of a former employee of the Madison County Treasurer’s Office in a discrimination lawsuit. The jury awarded $450,000 to Linda Dunnagan who says she was fired in 2013 after suffering a life threatening illness.
Kurt Prenzler said previously that he was not discriminating against anyone, but was simply trying to cut the office budget, which he boasted was trimmed by 30-percent after he took office. He said he plans to appeal the decision. Dunnagan’s suit claimed she suffered a grave illness in the summer of 2012 was hospitalized, and missed several weeks of work. She returned to work in August despite having an intravenous drip hooked to her arm. She was again hospitalized in November, but later returned to work. It was then Dunnagan claims Prenzler tried to get her to retire and seek disability benefits. Dunnagan had been the office comptroller since 2002, but was notified in January 2013 that her job was being eliminated. The case was heard this week in Benton.