McNally Files Lawsuit After Being Expelled From Fire Company

Montville — Former Assistant Fire Chief Thomas McNally is suing members of the Chesterfield Fire Co. for expelling him from the department last spring.

McNally, 30, was accused by state police of providing alcohol to minors during the Chesterfield Fire Company's annual banquet in April at the Polish American Citizens Club. In May, all criminal charges were dropped, according to Norwich Superior Court records.

The allegations led to McNally being ousted from the fire company and the resignation of nearly 20 company volunteers, who left in protest.

“What they did to me was malicious and wrong. I have plenty of proof and support to prove my point. I know it will not be quick or easy but someone must stand up for what is right,” McNally said.

McNally had been a member of the fire department for 15 years. In May, McNally said he was sent a letter, without warning or an opportunity to be heard, that he was expelled from the company.

In the complaint, filed Oct. 9 in the U.S. District Court in New Haven, McNally states that Fire Chief Stephen Stewart and company members Keith and Sandy Truex conspired and acted together for the specific purpose of inflicting unjustified injury upon him. Keith Truex was elected to replace McNally in December.

The complaint states that other members and officers of the Chesterfield Fire Company, in identical situations to McNally's, were neither expelled nor treated as he was. The document states that McNally suffered public humiliation, embarrassment and associated emotional distress.

Stewart said Tuesday he wasn't aware of the complaint. He said he would not discuss the policy for expulsion or any other aspects of the case until he'd seen the paperwork for the lawsuit.

McNally is asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney fees and costs.

McNally has said that the Truexes have written complaints about him before. “I don't doubt that it was politically motivated,” McNally said.

Keith Truex, who has held previous offices at the company as captain, lieutenant and president, denied any political agendas.

“We're trying to move forward,” he has said. “It wasn't politically motivated.”

Sandy and Keith Truex declined comment on Tuesday.

McNally is currently a member of the Board of Education, and is running for re-election in November. He was also a member of the Public Safety Commission, but councilors elected not to renew his term in February until the outcome of his trial.

In May, councilors voted to fill the vacant seat with Michael Butterworth.
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