Deadline forces firefighter's attorney to file intent to sue New London

New London — An intent to sue has been filed against the city on behalf of firefighter Alfred Mayo, but Mayo’s attorney said Wednesday the filing is a “pro forma formality” and an official lawsuit will most likely not be filed.

Mayo was fired by the city last December before being rehired last month. When rehired, Mayo, the first black firefighter hired by the city since 1978, was offered back pay for the months he was unemployed and attorney fees for his lawyer, Gary Cicchiello.

Cicchiello said he filed the intent to sue because the deadline to do so was approaching. He said he expects the city to pay his fees and the back pay within two weeks or so. If not, the intent to sue gives Mayo the option to sue, Cicchiello said.

Mayo was fired by the city in December just days before his graduation from the state fire academy. After his termination, Mayo publicly claimed he had been mistreated by the city and fire academy because he was black and many of those claims are included in the intent to sue, which names Fire Chief Ronald Samul, Personnel Coordinator Bernadette Welch and Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio.

Mayo was offered his job back on May 2 after Finizio said new information had come to light, including a report on the fire academy that concluded Mayo may have been treated unfairly during his training last year.

s.goldstein@theday.com

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