Taxpayers hit with $1.5 million to settle wrongful discharge lawsuit
After years of protracted litigation, the town agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by police captain Mark Kordick in 2020 for wrongful dismissal. The $650,000 settlement, in addition to the legal fees will cost Greenwich taxpayers $1.5 million.
The amount paid for this lawsuit could have bought our Fire Department the $1.4 million ladder truck that Republican BET members cut from this year’s budget. After we were left with no working ladder trucks last week, the BET approved emergency funds to buy a truck. The catch? Now it costs $300,000 more.
That’s a cost that could have been avoided with timely, responsible leadership, just like the cost of the Kordick settlement. It’s unfair to town residents to pay the price for the actions of our First Selectman, Fred Camillo, who retaliated against a police captain for exercising his free speech rights on his own time.
An entirely avoidable expense!
The saga started with signs placed by Captain Kordick anonymously around town in 2019 linking then-candidate Camillo to President Trump in an effort to draw attention to Camillo’s refusal to denounce Trump. Camillo had the signs removed, and worked to reveal who had placed them.
Campaign associate Paul Cappiali — subsequently promoted to Greenwich Harbormaster — tracked down the printing shop in Texas and hired an unsuspecting third party to convince the sign shop to reveal who had placed the order. That invoice identified police captain Mark Kordick had ordered the signs, and Kordick was fired in 2020, months after Camillo’s election.
Often, there is no smoking gun in wrongful termination cases, but in Kordick’s case, there was. Discovery revealed texts from Camillo stating, “He better pray I do not win because I would be police commissioner and he will be gone.” Later in the text chain Camillo referred to Kordick in vulgar terms that are inappropriate to repeat here, and reiterated his intention to “nail” Kordick.
Despite that evidence, the town refused multiple offers to settle, continuing to rack up hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in legal fees. A settlement—the same that had been on the table for years—was finally accepted after our insurance company threatened to terminate our policy if the town insisted on bringing its case to trial.
The winners include the town law firm with its cozy ties to the First Selectman. Camillo fired longtime town attorney John Wayne Fox, a Democrat, after he was elected and replaced him with the law firm that employs Themis Klarides, with whom Camillo served in Hartford when she was the Republican minority leader.
The change was presented as a cost-cutting measure, but legal expenses for the town have skyrocketed. In the FY’ 23 budget, as other departments were required to keep increases under 3%, the budget for attorney fees increased by nearly 9% and exceeded over $3 million for the first time, according to minutes of the RTM Legislative and Rules meeting on May 2, 2022.
The losers: the taxpayers of Greenwich.
Imagine a better Greenwich
We have so many needs in our town–from schools that are not ADA compliant, to antiquated pipes not suited to handle the volumes of storm water that we know are coming.
Vote for leaders with high ethical standards committed to ensuring that every taxpayer dollar is devoted to improving the quality of life for Greenwich residents. Make your voice heard and vote Row A on November 7th.
Captain Kordick lost his job for placing political lawn signs around town. Should voters fire Fred Camillo this November 7 for costing taxpayers $1.5 million to settle the wrongful dismissal lawsuit?
Editorials that caught our eye
Maintaining the Quality of Greenwich Public Schools is Intrinsic to Maintaining the Quality of Life in our Town, writes Sophie Koven, Democratic candidate for Board of Education. “I have four children and have spent eleven years as a Greenwich Public School parent, with another nine years to go. I am running for the Board of Education this November because I am deeply grateful for the excellent education my children have enjoyed, and I want to ensure that future generations of students in Greenwich have the same opportunity,” says Koven.
“No Aerial Rescue?” Jeff Ramer, Democratic member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, describes a scary situation that happened last week when every ladder truck in Greenwich was out of service. Republican members of the BET have been cutting our Fire Department’s requests for new equipment for years, putting our lives and homes at risk. “When blind obsession with mill rate eclipses good judgment on public safety, sound school buildings, and myriad other basics of municipal service, it begins to compel us to look more closely, to try to understand how we got here,” writes Ramer.
For your calendar
Help us get our Democratic slate elected in Greenwich this November! Come make calls with us at our headquarters at 23 Benedict Place, rear entrance, between 5:30 and 7pm on Thursdays through November 2nd!
September 23 and every Saturday
Canvassing Saturdays! Swing by Greenwich Democratic headquarters (23 Benedict Place, rear entrance, parking available in the Benedict Pl Municipal Lot) to learn the ropes, pick up a door knocking assignment, and spend a great afternoon talking to Greenwich voters!
No experience necessary. Please bring a charged smart phone and comfortable walking shoes. We’ll provide scripts, training, and water.
Noon every Saturday until November 4.
Meet our candidates and learn about their vision for our community and the issues that matter to you. September 28, 6:00-8:00 p.m. RSVP for address.
Heading out of town this fall?
Don’t forget to request your absentee ballot! And don’t think your vote doesn’t matter. In a recent election, a candidate for the Board of Education won by one vote. It only takes a moment to make your voice heard.
|Volume 2, Number 10 • September 22, 2023|
|Paid for by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.|
|Greenwich Democratic Town Committee P.O. Box 126 Greenwich, CT 06836|