Judge Grants City of Minot Summary Judgment Against Former City Attorney

Chief Judge Daniel Hovland of the United States District Court, Bismarck has granted the City of Minot's motion to dismiss the wrongful termination lawsuit claims that former city attorney, Colleen Auer, brought against the City of Minot. Judge Hovland granted the City’s motion and dismissed all of Auer’s lawsuit claims, with prejudice, on February 8, 2017.

Among numerous other determinations in favor of the City, the Court determined that “Auer’s allegations of gender-based discrimination and retaliation are unsupported by the evidence in the record and devoid of merit. . . . To the contrary, the overwhelming evidence reveals that Auer was a probationary employee whose termination was justified.” Further, the Court stated, in its conclusion that “[t]his should have been a simple employment dispute involving a probationary employee of a few weeks duration. It should have never evolved into a federal case. As an attorney in private practice for 20+ years, a mediator, and a federal judge since 2002, I have handled hundreds of employment disputes. Any competent and experienced attorney who has handled even a handful of employment cases would never consider filing a lawsuit such as this on behalf of a probationary employee of two weeks duration – an employee who alienated virtually everyone she came into contact with in the workplace.” Auer represented herself in the lawsuit.

"We are pleased that the Court agreed with the City’s position.” Says City of Minot Mayor, Chuck Barney. “I am glad we can finally put this behind us and focus on advancing the other good work of the City.”

The City of Minot was represented by Bismarck attorneys Randall Bakke and Shawn Grinolds of the Bakke Grinolds Wiederholt law firm.

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