Ex-Manager Sues 9/11 Memorial Over Firing


October 5, 2012
Ex-Manager Sues 9/11 Memorial Over Firing
A former manager at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Manhattan was fired for raising health and security concerns at one of the most security-conscious places in the world, he claimed in a lawsuit filed on Friday.

The former manager, Thomas Cancelliere, who was facilities director of the memorial, alerted his bosses that he believed that the water in the memorial’s signature fountains carried illness-causing bacteria, that exit gates were too narrow and could hinder an evacuation and that there were no security checks at a public garage directly below the off-site room where the memorial’s millions of visitors are screened, the lawsuit said.

“Unfortunately,” the suit said, “Mr. Cancelliere’s concern for the safety of visitors was not shared by his supervisors,” who told him the issues were not his responsibility or were being addressed, even though they were not.

A memorial spokesman called the claims baseless and said Mr. Cancelliere had been fired “because of his documented failure to live up to the performance standards of our organization.”

“His baseless claims have absolutely no merit and are being used to try and leverage a large financial settlement,” the spokesman, Michael Frazier, said in a statement.

Mr. Cancelliere, 67, was fired last month in what he said his bosses called cost-cutting but he called retaliation, according to the suit, filed State Supreme Court in Manhattan. No one else was fired at the time, it said.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages under New York State’s whistle-blower protection law.