RR&M Wins Dismissal of Veterans Preference Petition

Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney Partner Ann Goering, representing Clearwater County, successfully obtained the dismissal of a veteran’s preference petition.  The County had notified its Veterans Services Officer five months prior to the end of his term that he would not be reappointed for a subsequent term.  After the employee’s term expired, he filed a petition with the Department of Veterans Affairs seeking both reinstatement for another term, and an explanation for his non-appointment.  Ms. Goering moved to dismiss the petition, on the grounds that County Boards have the statutory authority to refuse to reappoint a County Veterans Services Officer, and that the Veterans Preference Act did not apply because the petitioner was not removed from employment.  Accordingly, Ms. Goering argued, the petition failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.  Both the Administrative Law Judge and the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs agreed, finding that the petitioner was notified he would not be reappointed by well over the 90 days required by statute; that the law does not provide a mechanism for a County Veterans Services Officer to challenge the basis for his or her non-appointment; and that the Veterans Preference Act did not apply because the petitioner was not “removed” from his position until his term expired.  Accordingly, Ms. Goering’s motion to dismiss was granted.  A copy of the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs’ decision is available here.

Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A.