Suspension for Milford's city planner reduced to 2 weeks
MILFORD — City Planner David Sulkis’ 30-day unpaid suspension was reduced to two weeks by a state labor mediator, which will result in Sulkis being paid $3,500 he is owed, officials confirmed Tuesday.
In August, the city’s Civil Service Commission voted to uphold two separate suspensions for Sulkis, who earns $84,000 annually. The city planner originally lost $7,000 in pay, but will be repaid half of the money, according to the state mediator’s ruling last week.
Sulkis, of New Haven, was suspended for one day, and then 30 days by Department of Permitting and Land Use Director Jocelyn Mathiasen.
According to the mediator’s ruling, both suspensions will remain in Sulkis’ file, but in a year, there is a process that could result in both suspensions being expunged from his personnel record.
Sulkis and Mathiasen have butted heads about the reorganization of the city’s land use agencies. Mathiasen was brought in to oversee all of the land use agencies, which some officials, including Sulkis, claimed limited their authority.
Sulkis was first suspended by Mathiasen last July because of his failure to work with the city attorney’s office, Mathiasen testified at a hearing in August.
But the situation escalated, Mathiasen said in August, when Sulkis allegedly forbid Zoning Enforcement Officer Kathleen Kuchta from consulting with the city’s attorney’s office except on “mundane matters.”
Sulkis then went into Kutcha’s office and allegedly said Mathiasen was plotting against him and was hoping to fire him, according to documents prepared by the city’s investigator. Sulkis allegedly told Kutcha if she told anybody what he told her, she’d “regret it,” because he’d soon be the boss again, according to documents prepared by the investigator.
Mathiasen has said Kuchta felt “threatened” and “intimidated” by Sulkis, and locked the door to her office, according to documents prepared by the investigator.
Sulkis, through a labor attorney, denied he ever threatened or intimidated anyone.
Both Sulkis and Mathiasen declined comment. Mayor Ben Blake said he could not comment because it was a personnel matter. Blake was an alderman at the time of Sulkis’ suspension.