The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

June 28, 2012

Court of Appeals upholds Humane Society ruling

CLINTON — The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld a local court’s decision that a former Clinton Humane Society administrator was not wrongfully terminated when she lost her job two years ago.

In a ruling filed Wednesday, the court shot down an appeal by Jean Regenwether, who claimed that the Clinton Humane Society had breached her employment contract.

The appeal was filed after a Clinton County District Court ruling in August 2011 found that her behavior as reported by board members and employees showed there was cause to terminate her.

The Clinton County District Court ruled that she created a tense environment for workers and acted inappropriately and unprofessionally when dealing with board members and employees.

Regenwether, who was in her third tenure as administrator of the facility, was terminated from that position in mid-2010.

Court documents state that Regenwether had had a disagreement about the shelter's pet cemetery in September 2009, which caused Regenwether to storm out of a boardroom, and caused Regenwether to go into her office and pack a few of her personal items, but that she did return to work the next day.

No disciplinary action was taken at that time.

A disagreement about content in a monthly newsletter occurred at a later date; Regenwether also walked out of another board meeting as the result of discussion about a fund-raising campaign to pay for surgery for a rescue dog names Miles.

A run-in with employees about a malfunctioning crematory unit led to several employee complaints. She was terminated in July 2010.

In August 2010, Regenwether filed a lawsuit in Clinton County District Court alleging breach of her employment contract by the humane society.

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