ITHACA, N.Y. — Former Tompkins County legislator Michael Koplinka-Loehr is suing the county for half a million dollars after he says officials reneged on a job offer after he’d accepted it.

Koplinka-Loehr was offered a job as a Transportation Analyst for the county on Feb. 6 and accepted the position in writing, according to court documents filed Monday.  But by March 2, the county and staff director of the Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council allegedly “negligently, wrongfully or tortuously interfered with, or wrongfully terminated an offer of employment.”

The lawsuit states that in addition to causing pain and suffering, the actions by county employees resulted in loss of income or expected income, and other damages.

Koplinka-Loehr used to be the representative in the Town of Ithaca and served three terms as a legislator before moving into a new home in Lansing, outside his district. He ran for legislator again last year against Republican incumbent Mike Sigler in District 6. Sigler narrowly beat Koplinka-Loehr for the position.

A notice of claim was filed on May 16 and the county neglected or refused to pay the amount, the court filing states.

Koplinka-Loehr’s attorney Russell Maines declined to comment on the case due to it’s status as pending litigation. County Attorney Jonathan Wood said he has not reviewed the lawsuit as of Wednesday afternoon, adding that the county has a policy to not comment about pending litigation.

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.