On Monday night, before the BET meeting got “ugly and messy” over issues with the independent cost estimator project for Central Middle School, the 12-member board added an item to the agenda: executive session to discuss the case of Kordick versus the Town of Greenwich. The vote was unanimous to go into executive session. No vote was taken which would have to have been done in public.
The previous business day, Friday, July 14, Lewis Chimes, attorney for former Greenwich Police Dept Captain Mark Kordick, who is suing the town, submitted “An Offer of Compromise” to the Town to settle the lawsuit for $675,000.
The Offer of Compromise is the most recent update in a saga that started when residents woke up to a slew of anonymous red and white lawn signs across town that said “Trump/Camillo.” The incident took place about a week before the Nov 2019 municipal election that pitted Fred Camillo against Democratic Jill Oberlander.
The signs featured an elephant, the slogans “Local Elections Matter,” and “Make Greenwich Great Again,” as well as a website FredCamillo.com, which at the time directed to a militant pro-Trump website, Citizens for Trump.
When Kordick was confronted by then Deputy Chief Mark Marino about the signs he admitted his responsibility.
Mr. Camillo went on to win the election, and five months later, in April 2020, Kordick, who had been placed on leave after admitting responsibility for the signs, was terminated by Police Chief Heavey. The decision was announced by Camillo, who as First Selectman also serves as police commissioner, to whom the police chief reports.
Kordick’s lawsuit claims there was retaliation against him for exercising constitutionally protected right to engage in off-duty political speech.
In his suit he named the Town, First Selectman Fred Camillo, Fred For First Campaign chair Jack Kriskey, then RTC chair Rich DiPreta and Peter Tesei, who was First Selectman when the signs appeared and were removed.
Of the Offer of Compromise, Kordick said in an email this week, “It’s a document that represents to the court official notice of a settlement I would accept to resolve the case, effective immediately.”
The Offer of Compromise was submitted pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 52-192a, which refers to computation of interest.
Under Connecticut law, if the Town rejects the Offer and Kordick is awarded a settlement in court he could be awarded interest dating from the July 14 filing date of his Offer on the first $675,000, if an award exceeds that amount.
As of July 19, court documents indicate a date of Aug 22 for jury selection/trial.
Last November Judge Edward Krumeich issued a Memorandum of Decision concerning Kordick v Town of Greenwich. In his 35 page memorandum, he dismissed the case against DiPreta and Tesei.
In the memo, Krumeich denied motions from the Town, Kriskey and Camillo for summary judgement to dismiss claims against them, writing, “There are genuine issues of material fact that preclude summary judgement in favor of the Town, Camillo and Kriskey.”
In March the claims against Kriskey and Camillo were withdrawn.
The Town of Greenwich remains a defendant.