Would-be driver says RFTA threw him under the bus
July 2, 2009
ASPEN – A Chicago man has filed court papers claiming he drove all the way to Aspen under the impression he had secured a bus driver job, only to find out when he got here that he didn’t.
Jason Zajac, 38, sued the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and two of its employees – human resource director Billy Bryant and an operations manager, Jim Engler – last month. A trial has been set for Aug. 5, according to court records.
In a telephone interview this week from Boulder, Zajac said he was assured by RFTA officials that he had the job. But when he arrived in Aspen in October, RFTA said he lost the job because of a speeding ticket he received in April 2008 in Chicago.
Zajac said the ticket was for driving 10 to 15 mph over the speed limit. He said he hired an attorney, who had the ticket removed from his driving record, but apparently that did not advance his cause with RFTA.
“For some reason they decided they didn’t like me,” he said.
RFTA officials declined to comment about the suit, saying they do not discuss personnel or legal matters.
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Zajac’s suit seeks $3,038. That’s how much he spent in moving costs, he said.
“I’m not asking for pain and suffering or anything like that,” he said. “I just want my money back for gas and food and getting to Aspen and going back to Chicago.”
Zajac, who said he has experience as a commercial driver, said he thought he had the ideal job lined up.
“It’s always been my dream to live in Aspen and ski,” Zajac said. “The only thing I’ve really skied is the upper peninsula of Michigan. I was ready to live in Aspen and enjoy it.”
For the meantime, he said he will live in Boulder, but will be in Aspen for next month’s scheduled trial.
“Everything is up in the air right now,” he said.