Former Woodbury County HR Director files lawsuit against County and Supervisor

Former Woodbury County Human Resources Director filed a lawsuit against Woodbury County and Supervisor Matthew Ung for age discrimination and retaliation.

Former Woodbury County Human Resources Director Edward Gilliland has filed a lawsuit against Woodbury County and Supervisor Matthew Ung for age discrimination and retaliation.

Gilliland was hired in April of 2014.

The 64 year old was fired this past January.

His lawsuit claims supervisors Matthew Ung and Jeremy Taylor began a "crusade to rid the county of its older managers and employees" after they became chairman and vice chairmen of the board in 2016.

On many occasions Ung told Gilliland he wanted "fresh ideas and young mangers and employees working for Woodbury County."

The lawsuit lists examples of people that used to work for the county that were forced out of their positions, including Planning and Zoning department head John Pylelo, Juvenile Detention Center Director Mark Olsen and comments were made about wanting to replace Director of Emergency Services Gary Brown with "someone much younger."

According to the lawsuit, the turning point in the relationship between Gilliland and the county was in September of 2017 when he was was ordered to offer the Economic Development Directors position to a specific candidate during a dinner which was also attended by two chamber of commerce members.

During the dinner, Gilliland was asked by one of the members if the candidate was going to be offered the position and Gilliland said "yes." That candidate later declined the offer and Ung blamed Gilliland for having "breached confidentiality" by telling the chamber members about the offer.

In September of 2017, Ung demanded that Gilliland submit a resignation letter with his last day noted as January 2, 2018.

Gilliland did not submit that letter and on January 2nd he was discharged.

Woodbury County has not issued a statement on this lawsuit.


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