A human rights complaint has been filed against the town of Lysander.
The claim comes after officials set the deputy town clerk's salary at $0 as they deemed the appointment inappropriate. As a result, Mary Peterson claims the board discriminated against her based on her sexual orientation.
Town Clerk Gale Grice appointed Peterson, a friend and housemate, to the position after firing former Deputy Town Clerk Giselle Jellett on Nov. 7. Jellett said the appointment was unethical because Grice is trying to increase her household income. However, Grice said after offering the position to three different part-time employees and conducting interviews with three other individuals, Peterson was the best-qualified candidate for the position having worked part-time in the office for nine years.
Although the board has no authority over who Grice appoints within her department, municipal law allows officials to set the appointee's salary, which they did.
Town Attorney David Twichell confirmed a claim was filed and said the town denies and will defend against all allegations made in the claim.