Norwich fires recreation director

Norwich — City Recreation Director C. Roger Moss was fired Tuesday after having been placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 1 for undisclosed reasons.

City Manager Alan Bergren sent an email to Mayor Peter Nystrom and the City Council Tuesday informing them of his decision and asking that they not comment to the press.

“Today I have terminated the employment of Roger Moss as recreation director for the city of Norwich,” Bergren’s email stated. “I ask that you not comment to the press, but direct all inquires about this action to me. If you would like a hard copy of the termination letter, please contact me directly.”

Bergren said Tuesday night that he must consult with the city’s labor attorney before releasing documents related to Moss’ termination. He said the city conducted an internal investigation after receiving complaints but would not discuss specifics, except to say they were not criminal.

“Right now, he is no longer an employee with the city of Norwich for a number of reasons,” Bergren said, “and I’m not prepared to discuss it this evening.”

Reached late Tuesday at his Berlin home, Moss also declined to comment on the city’s action, but indicated he might challenge the decision.

“The union will take it, and see what we have to do at this point,” said Moss, a member of the city department heads union.

Nystrom and aldermen reached Tuesday declined to comment on Bergren’s decision, as did longtime Recreation Advisory Board member Robert Spayne. Spayne also received notification from Bergren of the termination.

Nystrom said the decision provides “a new opportunity” to reconsider a controversial budget-cutting proposal from last spring that would have combined the senior center and recreation director positions. Nystrom would go one step further and make the merged position a new department head. Currently, the Rose City Senior Center is part of the Norwich Human Services Department.

Moss was earning $78,302 this fiscal year. Moss was named Norwich recreation director in January 2012 after having served as East Hartford parks and recreation director for 15 years.

c.bessette@theday.com

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