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Former WPCA worker to sue Montville

By Jeffrey A. Johnson

Publication: theday.com

Published June 13. 2012 4:00PM   Updated June 14. 2012 12:12AM

Montville — The former assistant superintendent of the Water Pollution Control Authority who was fired last week filed notice Wednesday that he intends to the sue the town.

Tom McNally filed the notice with the town clerk’s office, which names Mayor Ronald K. McDaniel Jr. and several other WPCA workers and officials.

He alleges that McDaniel and others in the WPCA gave false statements and took part in a flawed investigation centered on two workplace accidents that occurred last December that McNally was allegedly involved in.

The lawsuit will argue that McNally’s firing was politically motivated and that he was unjustly terminated because he is chairman of the Republican Town Committee. McDaniel, elected in November, is a Democrat, and the Town Council is controlled by Democrats.

McNally, an 11-year town employee, was placed on administrative leave in January as the town attorney investigated the incidents. He was fired more than five months later.

Workers’ compensation documents that The Day obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that an unidentified worker sustained unspecified injuries on Dec. 23 in the first workplace accident. A valve at the Avery Road pump station burst and covered the worker in raw sewage, the documents said.

In the second incident on Dec. 27, an unidentified worker sustained unspecified injuries when a water valve burst near Haughton Cove Manor. The worker alleged that McNally was not manning a vac valve while a plumber was working on the issue, according to that employee’s report of the incident.

McNally has denied any wrongdoing in both incidents. Both workers names were redacted in the documents obtained by The Day to protect their privacy.

McDaniel has declined comment on McNally’s firing because of the pending litigation.

The Day has requested McNally’s personnel file and a report on both workplace accidents written by Town Attorney Eileen Duggan. She said last week that she is researching the town’s legal obligation to release the report.

The notice to sue was filed by attorney Jacques Parenteau on McNally’s behalf. In addition to McDaniel, it names WPCA Chairman Timothy May, WPCA Administrator Brian Lynch, WPCA Superintendent Michael Didato and John Lilly, a WPCA employee.

It alleges that all of these men collectively and individually manufactured false claims to force McNally from his WPCA job and from his position as auxiliary marine officer for the town police department.

McNally said he has suffered from last benefits and wages, harm to his reputation, loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress.


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