Fassuliotis Statement on BET Vote on Kordick Lawsuit “End of a Chapter that was Not Easy for Town”

Submitted by Karen Fassuliotis

This is the statement I read to the full BET and reflect my views and the views of the full Republican caucus on the Kordick case. They do NOT represent the views of the full BET. 

This is the end of a chapter that was not an easy one for the Town of Greenwich. Up until a week ago, many on the various Town bodies resisted settlement at the figure that the insurance company is now requiring us to approve. In fact, we were only days away from trial, with a second jury seated, after the first attempt was derailed due to a scheduling error by the Stamford Courts. The action by the insurance company is contractual and we have little choice in approving their demand. To reject their demand would be irresponsible, would potentially put our insurance policies at risk in the future and would potentially cost the town millions if the town would lose. That is not a roll of the dice I, for one, and I think the majority on this board, are willing to take.

The insurance clause that the insurance company exercised, quite frankly, has hijacked what would have been a fair hearing in front of a jury – a group of this individual’s peers – to decide, once and for all, whether the town would prevail in the termination of this individual. At the end of the day, this was an employment termination case, nothing more. There may be many who will try to spin this differently.
But there were many on this board and on other town boards who know the truth. And the truth is that we all know that we had good defenses and a great legal outside legal team. No case is ever without some flaws. But we were confident that we had great arguments to present and that, in the end, we would prevail.

So we all owe a big thanks to our legal team, Courtney George and Owen Weaver, our outside counsel at Marino, Zabel & Schellenberg, who approached this case, and the corresponding many, many, settlement tries, both with the judges, the plaintiff, and our town bodies, with the integrity and the ethical standards expected of them, both as lawyers and as individuals. We all owe them a debt of gratitude in taking on a case that was difficult at best. I know it is also not easy dealing with the various personalities on this and our other town boards. Thank you to them for the job they did. Had they been able to try this case I am confident they would have won.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to our Chief of Police, who also acted ethically and properly and who’s decision that led to this lawsuit was the correct one.

I’ll end by saying we have heard from our Town’s Risk Manager and our Insurance Broker that they will be doing their due diligence on our insurance contracts as we renew them to determine the best path forward to reduce the change of this situation from happening again. While there may not be any option to modify our contracts, in the words of our insurance company representative, “never say never.”

Karen Fassuliotis
Chair, Law Committee
Board of Estimate and Taxation