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Legal action filed against DA Rain by former assistant

First published: May 04, 2015 at 12:16 pm
Last modified: May 04, 2015 at 4:20 pm
Ryan

CANTON — A notice of claim has been filed against St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain and her office by one of her former assistants.

Former assistant District Attorney Brenna J. Ryan confirmed that she filed the claim on April 24 against Ms. Rain with several county department heads, including county administrator Ruth A. Doyle and County Attorney Stephen D. Button.

The content of the claim is said to include allegations of Ms. Rain using vulgar language, sexual in nature, around the office, according to sources close to the legal action.

A call to Elizabeth E. Hunter, of Frumkin & Hunter LLP, White plains, the firm representing Ms. Ryan, was not returned for comment.

Ms. Ryan, whose assignments as A.D.A. included coverage of the town and village courts in Potsdam, was terminated on Jan. 27. She said Ms. Rain was not present when the termination took place, and that the move was handled by Chief Assistant District Attorney David A. Haggard, who simply said, ‘we are letting you go.’”

Following the report of the firing, Ms. Rain said “commenting on personnel issues is absolutely against the law.”

A FOIL request submitted to Mr. Button’s office on April 24 is under review, according to response from his office.

County Chairman Joseph R. Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg, said Mr. Button advised legislators of the notice of claim during the executive session of a Finance Committee meeting on April 27.

“The county attorney needed to be served because he represents the county,” Mr. Lightfoot said. “I can’t discuss it until such time as it becomes public.”

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