HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An attorney for a 21-year veteran deputy finance commissioner for the Town of Hempstead announced a legal claim Wednesday, alleging that age, sex and ethnic discrimination were the reason he was fired.

Angelo Ferrara, 66, of Floral Park was terminated from his position as deputy commissioner of finance for the Town of Hempstead on Jan. 1 of this year, a news release from his attorney said. He had perfect attendance and one of the highest ratings for his job performance, and had been making $97,000 a year along with benefits, the release.

Ferrara’s attorney claimed the town gave no reason for his termination, and that he was simply told by the director of human services that he could either resign or be fired. He was allowed to receive his pension, Social Security and unemployment insurance when he was fired, but the New York State Department of Labor made him pay back the $11,061.56 in unemployment benefits he received, the attorneys said.

The release said Ferrara was replaced by Kim Kaiman, the fire of former town supervisor John Kaiman who is an attorney rather than an accountant. Attorneys said Ferrara has a bachelor’s and MBA in accounting from Pace University and worked for Citibank for 23 years before joining the Town of Hempstead, the release said.

Ferrara alleged that he was wrongfully terminated due to age, sex and ethnic discrimination, the release said. Attorneys alleged that town Supervisor Judi Bosworth has said in a published Wall Street Journal report that she prefers women over men for the top positions in town government, and that Ferrara was one of several Italian-Americans targeted for dismissal in a town board resolution on Dec. 10 of last year.

“I was terminated without cause,” Ferrara said in a news release. “If I had a choice only between termination or resignation, I would not have elected to be terminated. I would have resigned under protest and made myself more acceptable to future employers.”

Ferrara was being represented by attorney Thomas F. Liotti, who filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission and a notice of claim alleging millions of dollars in damages, the release said.

North Hempstead Town Attorney Elizabeth Botwin responded in a Newsday report that the town has not received any papers, and that the town will “review and evaluate the claim” once it comes in.

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