Benner Township suit over fired codes worker settled through mediation

For the CDTJanuary 5, 2013 

— The federal lawsuit a former Benner Township zoning and code enforcement officer brought against the municipality has been settled through mediation.

No terms were disclosed in the notice filed Thursday in U.S. Middle District Court.

Renee A. Swancer, of Milesburg, who was fired in January 2012, contended that the township had deprived her of a constitutional right to work or associate with whichever political candidate she chooses.

Swancer claimed Republican supervisors Randy Moyer and David Wise demoted and then fired her because she supported a Democratic candidate. She also claimed Moyer promised to fire her if elected.

In her court complaint, she claimed the zoning and codes position involves enforcement of ordinances and clerical duties. The document also stated Swancer did not supervise anyone, did not prepare a budget for the office and had no authority to hire or fire.

She contended political affiliation was not an appropriate requirement for the successful performance of the zoning and code enforcement officer.

Swancer had sought reinstatement, lost pay and unspecified damages.

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