Selectmen sue former police officer over training

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Re: Selectmen sue former police officer over training

Postby shawn_oneil » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:50 pm

curt wrote:If nobody objects, I'll return to the topic at hand. :-)

Will the town also recover its legal fees if it prevails? Any idea how much?


I would support it, and I would suspect the rest of the Board would support it as well. Legal fees would be based on time involved in the case by our attorney and at what stage we were at in the litigation.
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Re: Selectmen sue former police officer over training

Postby curt » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:23 pm

You might want to ask Peter. This is governed by law and court rules.

I think the general rule is that each side pays its own fees. But under certain conditions the loser can be compelled to pay the winner's fees. I have no idea how it would apply in this case.
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Re: Selectmen sue former police officer over training

Postby etocc » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:19 am

The court procedings on October 29, 2010, St Ong filed a counter suit making many claims against the town and police department. Some of his claims are:

Count #1, Invasion of Privacy and violation of NH RSA 91-A:5

1. St Onge was not presented with a contract upon his hire but was made to sign one , more then a year after his hire by the chief.

2. St onge became unhappy with the conduct and functioning of the Danville police department

3. St onge signed the contract after being told by the chief that he had to but that it really didn't mean anything.

4. St Onge met with the selectmen and the selectmen agreed that the employment contract was null and void and not enforceable. Within 2 weeks after the selectmen meeting, St Onge gave his letter of resignation with his 2 weeks notice to the Police Department.

5. St Onge contends that the March 22, 2010 selectmen's meeting that the selectmen discussed personal matters regarding St Onge in an open meeting violating state law.

6. St Onge claims invasion of privacy and violation of NH RSA 91-A:5

7. The Town of Danville made misrepresentations about the character of St Onge and activities stating he now owed money to the Town for police training, these misrepresentations are offensive and have harmed St Onge's reputation within the community. The Town knew of the falsity of the statement and misrepresentations and acted in reckless disregard to the falsity of the statements and misrepresentations.

8. St Onge had a privacy interest at stake with respect to his alleged contract with Danville and whether or not he was obligated to repay the town. There was no puiblic interest in disclosing said matters to the members of the town and discussing said matters at a public meeting.

Count #2, Defamation, libel and slander

1. Danville intentionally published oral and written communications, defammatory statements concerning St Onge, which statements were false and which caused damage to St Onge reputation and good name.

2. St Onge individual privacy interest and non disclosure out weighed any interest the town may have had in discussing said matters in public forum. The disclosure of St Onge private personal matters constituted an unwarranted invasion of his personal privacy.

Count #3, Fraud, misrepresentation, and or negligent misrepresentation

1. Danville through Chief Wade Parsons, St Onge's direct supervisor knowenly and or negligently misrepresented an important fact to St Onge when the Chief told St Onge that if he signed an employment contract that it would not be enforced if St Onge did in fact leave his employment prior to 3 years.

2. The Town through Chief Parsons made misrepresentations to St Onge with Chief Parsons making misrepresentations with knowledge of its falsity or with conscious indifference to it's truth.

3. St Onge relied on Chief Parsons to his detriment.

Submitted to the court September 10, 2010 by Attorney Andrea Amodeo-Vickery, esq. Case number 218-2010-CV-759
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Re: Selectmen sue former police officer over training

Postby curt » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:20 am

The 3/22/10 selectmen minutes wrote:Chairman O’Neil told the Board of Selectmen that no response has been received from former Town Police
Officer St. Onge regarding the monies due to the Town for training deriving from his resignation and the early
termination of his contract with the Town of Danville. Selectman Giordano suggested that a second letter be
sent, certified and signed receipt requested, to Officer St. Onge. Chairman O’Neil asked the Selectmen’s Clerk
to draft a letter to Officer St. Onge and to attach a copy of the original letter when sending it out. Board of
Selectmen agreed that the letter should be sent as Selectman Giordano suggested.
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Re: Selectmen sue former police officer over training

Postby AlfredTwo » Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:14 pm

Normally people don’t have to be taken to court to pay back training funds if there is an enforceable contractual requirement to do so. Even if there is only a verbal agreement to do so few people fight a request like this. This case sounds like amateur night on the contract front. I’m not sure how much training our chief, or other department heads, have in personnel and contract relations with employees. If none or very little then this sort of thing is almost guaranteed to happen at some point. Most people are unaware of the consequences of verbal side deals in contracts. Where I work we get some training on contracts annually, though only managers and HR are trained specifically on personnel contracts. Regardless of the outcome of this case investing in some training, perhaps town council can do it, would seen to be a good use of town funds.
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Re: Selectmen sue former police officer over training

Postby curt » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:54 pm

While thinking about the Cote case it occurred to me that it would be good to get the filings from both sides on this case, as well.
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Re: Selectmen sue former police officer over training

Postby curt » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:48 am

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Re: Selectmen sue former police officer over training

Postby AlfredTwo » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:32 am

So short version is St Onge pays the town $4,000 and both sides drop suits. Everyone pays their own court and legal fees. That about right?
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