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Stonington settles long running DiCesare case for $20,000

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Stonington — The Board of Selectmen voted Wednesday to settle a lawsuit that fired highway supervisor Louis DiCesare II had filed against the town and Director of Public Works Barbara McKrell by paying him $20,000.  

The settlement comes after the town and its insurance company spent in excess of $500,000 defending itself against lawsuits and union grievances DiCesare filed.

DiCesare sued the town, McKrell and former Director of Administrative Services Vin Pacileo in 2015 in state court, after McKrell first suspended, then fired, DiCesare, citing a list of expensive errors she said he made on projects, his alleged failure to review employee timesheets and produce daily planning and inspection reports and saying that he was insubordinate. Pacileo later was removed as a defendant. 

DiCesare disputed the charges, alleging McKrell began to retaliate against him after his successful effort to have his position included in a union that represents a group of town employees.

The case was moved from state to federal court. Last year, a federal Appellate Court upheld a lower court ruling that threw out DiCesare’s federal civil rights claims against the town and remanded his claims under state law back to state Superior Court for a decision. The state claims remained pending until Wednesday's settlement.

The agreement states that the document is not an admission by the town or McKrell of any liability or fault and that DiCesare agrees to withdraw the pending lawsuit and any claims he has against the town and McKrell and will not pursue any future claims. The $20,000 is being paid by the town's insurer, the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency.

DiCesare, who signed the agreement on Sept. 21, also agreed not to make any disparaging remarks about the town.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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