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Judge: Ex-city manager was victim of political vendetta

gavel_rgbDIAMONDHEAD — An administrative law judge has found that former Diamondhead city manager Richard Rose was a victim of a political vendetta in the coastal city.

“His political bosses used him as a pawn in their schemes to wrangle a little more power for themselves or deprive their rivals of that power,” Judge Nathan Nyberg with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security wrote last month in an order that awarded Rose unemployment insurance benefits.

Rose was fired earlier this year for what city officials said was misconduct, a charge Rose denied. Rose applied for unemployment, and was rejected by the city.

Nyberg said the city failed to provide substantial evidence to justify Rose’s firing with cause.

“This ruling completely vindicates Mr. Rose’s position and what we’ve been saying since day one from his improper termination, that he did nothing wrong,” said Rose’s attorney, James Halliday.

He said Rose, who hasn’t worked in months, now has some money coming in.

“Even though the city attempted to deny him that right to his unemployment benefits, Judge Nyberg has granted those, completely and fully and he’s receiving them now,” said Halliday.

Next up for Rose is a civil case against Diamondhead set for a Dec. 1 trial in Hancock County Circuit Court.

Due to the pending litigation, Diamondhead city attorney Sean Tindell said it would be inappropriate to comment on the recent ruling.

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