Published September 11. 2013 4:00AM
Stonington - The attorney for Tracy Swain is requesting a judge hold an immediate hearing on the status of her lawsuit against First Selectman Ed Haberek because he charges that Haberek is liquidating property while Swain's motion to attach his assets is pending in New London Superior Court.
A hearing on the prejudgment remedy to attach Haberek's assets was slated for Monday but was postponed after Haberek's attorney, Dado Coric, was unable to proceed with depositions in the case because of a scheduling conflict.
The depositions of Haberek, Swain, the town's former information technology director Jason Jones and retired director of administrative services George Sylvestre are now scheduled for later this month. Attorneys have been trying to take the depositions since March, but there have been several postponements.
Information from the depositions is likely to be used at the hearing on Swain's attempt to attach $500,000 of his assets in case his insurance does not cover damages she receives. In successfully petitioning for the asset hearing, Swain's attorney Scott Camassar has maintained there is probable cause a court will render a judgment in her favor.
In her suit, Swain alleges Haberek sent her a "sexually graphic photo of himself" using his town-issued BlackBerry while in his Town Hall office on the night of Jan. 12, 2010. Haberek has denied sending her the image. Swain says the experience has caused her continuing emotional distress and physical illness such as migraine headaches.
Swain has also sued the town. Camassar has offered the town two ways to get out of the lawsuit, but those involved Haberek admitting to Swain's allegation of the photo or turning over potential evidence in the case.
In his motion for an immediate status hearing, Camassar wrote he was requesting it in light of Haberek's recent actions "to convey assets or further encumber assets" while the prejudgment remedy hearing and motion for Haberek to disclose his assets is pending.
He added that depositions have been repeatedly rescheduled, and because of that, the prejudgment remedy hearing has not gone forward.
Camassar stated that publicly available information indicated that at the same time Haberek asked to delay proceedings, he has put up for sale a home he partially owns at 28 Moss St. in Pawcatuck and with his mother Patricia Haberek obtained a $158,819 mortgage on the home.
Editor's note: This version corrects an earlier version.
On Sept. 1, Haberek posted on his Facebook page that the three-family home at 28 Moss St. where his mother lives is for sale. Documents filed in Town Hall show he obtained the mortgage on Aug. 7.
Camassar said in his request for the status conference that Haberek has said in response to written questions that he is not covered by liability insurance. He said Haberek's attempts to "convey or encumber assets may cause him to be insolvent" if Swain is awarded damages and Haberek cannot afford to pay.
But Coric said Tuesday that the fact that Haberek has posted the sale on his Facebook page shows that his client is not trying to defraud anyone and is not doing anything in secret.
Coric said that Swain and Camassar are entitled to file any motion they wish and he and Haberek are prepared to offer a defense.
He added that Haberek continues to maintain Swain's claims are baseless and that he is looking forward to his day in court.