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A $1.2 million dismissal in Amherst raises public-private comparisons

   The Town of Amherst has finally managed to fire an employee after starting disciplinary hearings against him seven years ago and spending more than $1.2 million in legal fees. Anthony Canna, a former sewage treatment plant superintendent, was unable to get the Court of Appeals to hear his case this week.

   Town officials regard this as an unusual case. No other lawsuit has cost the town so much money in recent history. Some question whether the town did the right thing, given the politics and personality conflicts that are undercurrents in this case, and the long, troubled history of the town's pelletizer system, of which Canna was an early critic.

   Others may consider Canna's case as an example of how different government and private businesses operate.

    Though Canna was not a union employee, he made the most of his rights to due process and held onto his job for years after employees in the business world would have been fired.

   … Sandy Tan

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