Age discrimination lawsuit filed against city of Riverside, mayor

RIVERSIDE, Mo. - Former Riverside city administrator David Blackburn filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the city and Mayor Kathy Rose on Tuesday.

Blackburn, 63, said he was fired after Rose tried to force him to retire for being a whistleblower. Blackburn claims he had recently shed light on a city contractor who was possibly running several hundred thousand dollars over budget while getting the ground ready for a new building in the Horizons development.

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"Mayor Rose called me into a private meeting, and told me she was forcing me to retire and handed me a document that said, basically, that I couldn't say anything about the situation, and I refused to sign it," Blackburn said.

Riverside city officials released the following statement Tuesday afternoon in response to the lawsuit:

"As an organization, the City of Riverside, Missouri is committed to holding ourselves to the highest of standards – both related to the performance of our employees and officials, and our responsibility to provide a safe workplace free from harassment and retaliation. We take seriously any allegations like those outlined in the press release distributed by Mr. Blackburn, but stand firm that these specific allegations are simply not true. We believe the proper place to disclose the facts of this case are in the courtroom and look forward to that opportunity. Our greatest concern is the disparaging remarks made about specific Riverside officials and employees. These are individuals who are dedicated to their jobs and work hard every day to help Riverside excel and achieve our vision for the community, and any assertion to the contrary is baseless."

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