- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City deputy mayor is named in an age discrimination lawsuit filed by a former executive of the nonprofit organization he used to lead.

Patricia Grayson filed a suit Tuesday in federal court naming the Children’s Aid Society and its former president and CEO, Richard Buery, as defendants.

Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Buery in February as deputy mayor for strategic policy initiatives with the responsibility of directing many of the administration’s signature initiatives.

Grayson’s suit claims that Buery fired her from her position as the Aid Society’s vice president for development in July because she was 61 years old. The suit says her age “was a motivating factor for her termination.”

Grayson had worked for the organization in various capacities for more than two decades. The suit says Buery told her some trustees were unhappy with her performance, but she spoke to some trustees who denied that.

The suit says there were other examples of older employees being forced out under Buery, and that he frequently made reference to Grayson about a need to hire younger employees.

The suit says Buery was prepared to send out a laudatory announcement of her services if she had accepted a severance package, but when she didn’t, he sent out a terse email simply noting her departure instead.

The Aid Society said the executive committee of its Board of Trustees hired an independent investigator to look into Grayson’s claims. “After a thorough investigation, her allegations were not substantiated,” spokesman Anthony Ramos said.

De Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell said Buery “remains grateful for Ms. Grayson’s service.”

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