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August 28. 2014 10:06PM

Former Fitzwilliam police chief's lawsuit against the town dismissed

FITZWILLIAM — The N.H. Supreme Court affirmed on Thursday a superior court decision that dismissed the former police chief’s wrongful termination lawsuit against the town.

Wayne H. Kassotis was let go by the town in April 2013 when selectmen did not renew his contract. According to court documents selectmen had informed Kassotis in November 2012 that they did not intend to renew his contract. The Fitzwilliam resident had been chief since 2007.

In May 2013, Kassotis brought the lawsuit seeking reinstatement as police chief as well as damages, costs and attorney’s fees. He alleged the board failed to comply with state law that protects appointed police chiefs from dismissal.

Cheshire County Superior Court Judge John Kissinger dismissed the lawsuit, saying the state law doesn’t apply to a nonrenewal of a contract.

Kassotis appealed to the state supreme court. On Thursday, the Supreme Court released its decision upholding the Superior Court decision.

The superior court specifically found the petitioner “entered into a contract which proved that his employment relationship with the town was for a set term. The fact that the town exercised its right not to renew that contractual relationship did not constitute a ‘dismissal’ under the statute.”

mpierce@newstote.com


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