Village employee forced to perform free work on mayor's home - FOX 35 News Orlando

Village employee forced to perform free work on Bellwood mayor's home: Lawsuit

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A former electrical inspector is jolting west suburban Bellwood. He's filed a lawsuit against the village which claims he was required to perform work on the mayor's home on the taxpayer's dime.

Michael Drager alleges in a wrongful termination suit that he was forced to do electrical work on Mayor Frank Pasquale's house 50 times over a nine-year period, until he was fired earlier this year. Drager says Mayor Pasquale personally ordered him to install and repair things inside his home, like lights, ceiling fans, landscape lighting, security cameras, a roof exhaust fan, a whole house backup generator, television wiring, sump pumps--even changing light bulbs. Drager says most of the work was done on village time and says he furnished most of the supplies.

Nobody answered the door at Mayor Pasquale's home, but FOX 32 News found a souped-up Dodge Challenger police car in his parking spot at village hall. He didn't want to talk, but FOX 32 News did get a statement from his chief of staff Peter Tsiolis.

"The village views the allegations as completely frivolous. There's no merit to the lawsuit. (Drager) is an upset and disgruntled former employee who was asked to do work and didn't want to do it," Tsiolis said.

Drager also alleges in the suit that he was ordered to do political work while on village time, including handing out pamphlets at polls on election day, which the village also denies.

Drager estimates he did about $15,000 worth of work, including supplies, on the mayor's residence-- but never once sent him a bill. He says he was fired because he refused to work for free. The village says it was just a move to privatize the inspection department and save taxpayers money.

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