Blind World Magazine

No reinstatement for fired Pennsylvania blind agency director.

January 28, 2006.
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia,PA,USA.

HARRISBURG - A woman who won a $3.2 million verdict over her firing as head of Pennsylvania's agency for the blind and visually impaired will not get her job back.

A federal judge yesterday declined Christine L. Boone's request to return as director of the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, saying there was too much hostility between the parties for reinstatement to be practical. Boone, who is blind, had said she was discriminated against because of her disability.

U.S. District Judge Sylvia Rambo said trial testimony and her own observations led her to conclude "an utter lack of trust and willingness to cooperate" existed that would make it impossible for Boone to work with state Labor Secretary Stephen M. Schmerin.

Schmerin and Stephen Nasuti, the now-retired director of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, were each ordered to pay Boone $1.5 million for the emotional distress she suffered by her firing in 2003. They had argued that Boone was fired because of her shortcomings as a manager.

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