Cahokia mayor and city sued by former golf course manager

By Kelly Holleran | Jul 19, 2011


A St. Clair County man claims he lost his job as manager of a local golf course and, in effect, his salary after Cahokia's mayor hired a close family relative to replace him.

Schooner Fitzgerald filed a lawsuit June 20 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against the Village of Cahokia and its mayor, Gary Cornwell.

In his complaint, Fitzgerald claims he entered into an employment contract with the city of Cahokia in which he agreed to direct a golf course from April 21, 2009, through April 21, 2012. In exchange, he would receive an annual salary of $44,000, according to the complaint.

Fitzgerald's employment contract also contained a clause in which the city promised to pay him the remaining amount of the contract if he was terminated other than by a mutual agreement between him and the city, the suit states.

Through a letter dated May 23, Cahokia's mayor fired Fitzgerald, but Fitzgerald did not agree to the termination and has never been compensated for the remaining money due under his contract, the complaint says.

"Prior to Plaintiff's termination, Plaintiff was not fully compensated per the April 21, 2009, Employment Contract in the amount of $44,000 per year in that Plaintiff was only paid gross wages in the amount of $17,522.82 for calendar year 2010 and as of his date of termination, had only been paid gross wages, including unused vacation and sick time, in the amount of $9404.10 through and including May 23, 2011," the suit states.

"Specifically, Plaintiff is owed $26,477.18 for calendar year 2010; $34,595.90 for calendar year 2011; and $13,566.68 per year from January 1, 2012, through April 21, 2012."

Fitzgerald claims he lost his job when Cahokia Mayor Gary Cornwell hired a close family member to replace Fitzgerald.

In his two-count complaint, Fitzgerald alleges breach of contract against the city and tortious interference with business expectancy against the mayor.

He seeks $74,629.76 from the city and $48,162.58 from the mayor, plus costs, attorney's fees, interest at the highest legal rate and other relief the court deems just.

David G. Bender and Richard S. Bender of Rosenblum, Goldenhersh, Silverstein and Zafft in St. Louis will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-293.

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