Stonington fires highway supervisor Lou DiCesare
Stonington — The town fired highway supervisor Louis DiCesare II Thursday morning, just two months after a Superior Court judge ruled that he could join the union that represents town administrators.
The town, which spent more than $20,000 in legal fees in an unsuccessful attempt to block DiCesare from joining the Stonington Public Administrators Association, had suspended him for five days without pay in January.
Among the reasons Public Works Director Barbara McKrell cited for the suspension in a six-page document were DiCesare telling her that he feels she doesn’t trust him, disobeying her orders and making errors that cost the town $125,000.
But DiCesare, who has worked for the town for 11½ years, including six in his current position, disputed the charges and said he never had a single disciplinary incident during his employment with the town. He said he also believed McKrell was retaliating against him for trying to join the union. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.
It is unclear if additional allegations led to Wednesday’s firing.
“We are not happy with Mr. DiCesare’s termination under these circumstances,” said town Information Technology Manager Roger Kizer, who heads SPAA. “Our union will do its best to have him reinstated.”
Kizer added that the termination came as a surprise to union members. He said they had almost completed the negotiation of a job description for the highway supervisor position with the town and had been discussing a plan with the town to transition DiCesare into the assistant building official’s job which is being reinstated in the proposed 2015-16 budget. DiCesare had held that job before it was cut from the budget six years ago. He then was named highway supervisor.
The highway superintendent job pays $78,800 a year compared to $61,389 for the assistant building official.
Kizer said the union will now file a grievance on behalf of DiCesare.
First Selectmen George Crouse declined to discuss the reason for the firing on Wednesday, saying he did not want to make a statement when he may have to hear DiCesare’s appeal as part of the grievance process.
The Day filed a state freedom of information request on Thursday for DiCesare’s termination letter.
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