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Fired Fire Chief Wins Settlement

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Alleged He Was Fired Because of Wife’s Political Activity

THE FORMER SALEM TOWNSHIP (Michigan) Fire Chief recently agreed to accept a settlement of $207,500 from the township in lieu of a trial following his filing of a Federal lawsuit.

Mark Hamilton filed the suit following his February, 2012 dismissal by the township Board, claiming that the reason for his firing was because his wife, Linda Hamilton, had filed recall petitions against three of the township’s elected officials.

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The Observer and Eccentric reported:

The lawsuit was settled through the township’s insurance carrier, the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority, to “avoid the expense of protracted litigation …” Plato said. Township Supervisor Gary Whittaker said the Salem board agreed to settle the lawsuit on the advice of the insurance carrier.

The lawsuit filed last December also named former township Supervisor Robert Heyl, Treasurer Paul Uherek and Trustees Marcia VanFossen and Wayne Wallazy. It alleged that Hamilton was terminated and suffered other retaliation, resulting from his wife, Linda Hamilton and her friend Bonnie Cook filing recall petitions against Heyl, Uherek and Wallazy in June 2010.

The lawsuit also alleged Linda Hamilton was denied employment with the township despite being the best candidate.  Salem agreed to remove documents from Mark Hamilton’s file regarding performance issues from November 2008 through Feb. 14, 2013, and place those in a “litigation file” to be kept under seal and confidential unless Salem Township is ordered by law to produce or disclose the documents.

Read the entire article in the O & E HERE.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Just_sayin

    It makes you wonder just what these township officials were thinking or not thinking at all. They should quit for being so asinine.

  • XC2701

    Small town politics sometimes conflict with real world legalities.