Sheridan firefighter's contract focus of court case
rmcas
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A former Sheridan County firefighter who
lost his job and some benefits because of a merger with the
Sheridan Fire Department is entitled to something of value, his
attorney argued.
Walter R. Miech, a firefighter with the Sheridan County Fire
Department for 17 years, contended he had a binding contract with
the county that cannot be changed without him receiving some
"consideration," a legal term meaning something of value.
Miech's wrongful termination lawsuit against Sheridan County is
pending in Federal Court in Casper. Federal Judge William Downes
certified the question of whether Miech is entitled to
consideration under Wyoming law to the Wyoming Supreme Court.
During arguments Monday before the state's high court, Miech's
attorney, Donald E. Miller of Cheyenne, said his client is due
consideration.
The attorney for Sheridan County, Roger E. Shumate of Casper,
argued against it.
Miller argued Miech's case will have no impact on the political
system because he is the only county fire department employee left
who was affected by the merger and change in policy. Other
employees retired or went on to other jobs, he said.
But Shumate argued that the case is important to all the
counties and all local governments because it will determine
whether a newly elected county commission can change employment
policies.
In June 2000, Sheridan County consolidated all of its emergency
services, including the fire department, into the city of Sheridan.
The Supreme Court took the case under advisement.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press.