ROCKLAND, Mass. - Rockland Town Administrator Allan Chiocca said he wants more than $5 million to abandon any potential lawsuits against the town and former Selectmen Deidre Hall and Edward Kimball over the town hall sex scandal.
In a settlement proposal letter to the town’s attorney John Clifford, Chiocca’s attorney Adam Shafran said Chiocca can sue the town for claims of quid pro quo sexual harassment, wrongful termination/retaliation, construction discharge and breach of contract.
“As Mr. Chiocca’s employer, we view the Town as the primary party responsible for the damages Mr. Chiocca has sustained and will continue to sustain as they arise substantially out of what in essence is the end of his employment and career,” the letter said.
Boston 25 News was the first news organization to report on the sex scandal in May.
The Selectmen put Chiocca on paid administrative leave in May after Hall accused him of behaving inappropriately toward during an after-hours encounter at the town hall two weeks earlier. An outside investigation concluded Hall pressured Chiocca into having sex with her, reminding him she was his supervisor and would soon be voting on his contract extension.
The report also found Hall had been having an extramarital affair with Kimball.
Hall resigned July 10. Kimball resigned on July 31.
Chiocca has remained on leave because the town charter states at least four selectmen need to be present to take action against a town administrator. The board currently has three members.
If the selectmen were to move forward with terminating Chiocca, despite the independent investigator’s recommendation he be reinstated, they would open the town to more potential legal trouble.
“Mr. Chiocca was the victim that evening, and there is no double whatsoever, that if Mr. Chiocca were female, nobody would be asserting that the victim engaged in misconduct,” the letter said.
In the letter, Shafran said even if Chiocca were to return to the job, the working conditions would be “absolutely intolerable.”
Shafran said Chiocca also has basis to sue Hall and Kimball.
According to the letter, the claims brought against Hall could include quid pro quo sexual harassment, assault and battery, tortuous interference with contractual relations, tortious interference with advantageous relations, defamation/libel, malicious prosecution and abuse of process.
The settlement proposal states Chiocca applied for town administrator jobs in three other towns, but despite being as qualified or more qualified than every other applicant, he was informed he cannot be hired because of the allegations.
“There are simply no words that I can put to paper that will ever adequately express the damage that has been done,” the letter said. “Mr. Chiocca’s career is over. His reputation is destroyed. He has been publicly humiliated. All based on allegations that were 100% false.”
Chiocca is demanding $5.36 million to avoid litigation. The sum includes lost wages and benefits, compensatory damages, including reputational damages and emotional distress damages, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
- Lost wages (calculated based on a retirement age of 71 with an annual raise of $10,000): $1,365,000
- Lost public retirement benefits: $1,294,125
- Damages: $2,659,125
- Attorneys’ Fees: $50,000
Chris Kenny, with Clifford & Kenny, LLP, told Boston 25 News, “The Town does not comment on personnel matters.”
Boston 25 News also reached out Shafran for comment.
The settlement proposal was obtained by MassLive through a public records request.
Five candidates are running for the two vacant selectmen seats. Voters will cast their ballots on Tuesday.
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