Anderson appeals $850,000 verdict to fired city workers

The city of Anderson is appealing a federal judge's ruling that it must pay about $850,000 to eight people who were fired from their jobs when a new mayor took office in 2012.

The city's filing with the federal appeals court in Chicago seeks to overturn the verdict in the lawsuit claiming the workers were wrongfully fired by former Mayor Kevin Smith's administration because they supported the Democratic incumbent in the 2011 city election.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ordered payments for lost wages, benefits and damages after a jury trial in April.

The city's insurance company urged the appeal, the Herald Bulletin of Anderson reported. The city is responsible for paying $150,000, with the insurance company currently owing about $700,000.

An attorney for the city has argued that the fired workers had policy-making positions and could be replaced by the mayor.

Smith lost his re-election bid in 2015.

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