Montville settles two lawsuits filed by former employees

Montville - The town has agreed to settle two lawsuits brought by former employees.

At last week's Town Council meeting, councilors discussed the terms of the settlements during an hour-long executive session before voting unanimously to approve both. One suit was filed by the former assistant superintendent of the Water Pollution Control Authority, Thomas McNally. The other was filed by former Montville police sergeant Richard Lenda.

The council did not make public any details of the settlements, but Mayor Ronald McDaniel said each lawsuit was settled to the satisfaction of both parties.

McNally said he was unable to comment on the settlement, and Lenda could not be reached for comment.

McNally sued the city, McDaniel and several WPCA employees after he was fired from his position last June. The city had placed McNally on paid administrative leave for more than five months while McDaniel investigated his role in two workplace incidents in December 2011. McNally denied wrongdoing and alleged that the investigation was biased and included false statements from WPCA employees.

He said that his firing was politically motivated. McNally is chairman of the Republican Town Committee, while McDaniel and the majority of councilors are Democrats.

Lenda, a retired Montville police officer, filed a lawsuit in 2009 against the town, former Mayor Joseph Jaskiewicz and Police Lt. Leonard Bunnell after he was unable to obtain a position as a state marshal.

He was denied the job after granting the state permission to review his town personnel record. Lenda alleged he was not hired as a state marshal because his file contained false statements by Bunnell and complaints, charges or allegations that were not removed after the appropriate time period.

In his initial complaint, Lenda requested that the court award him damages greater than $15,000 and issue an order directing the town to remove the allegedly defamatory statements from his personnel file.

k.catalfamo@theday.com

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