A wrongful termination and breach of contract lawsuit levied by Police Chief Margaret Ackley against the city of New London in Connecticut will avoid court for the moment as both sides head towards the negotiation table. Ackley first asked the courts for an injunction preventing the mayor of New London, Daryl Finizio, from “interfering in her duties.” The mayor’s office argued that this request was meaningless, as the mayor later suspended Ackley and launched an investigation into alleged misconduct.
Ackley then sued on the grounds that she was suspended without any due process as required by the laws of New London. Specifically, Ackley claims she was not informed of the grounds for her dismissal nor given a hearing as required by statute.
Ackley further contends that she was convinced to forestall retirement and sign a new contract with the city in a ploy to avoid paying her a separate retirement compensation package. The mayor contends that Ackley deliberately undermined negotiations with the police union by misreporting financial statistics for the department and increasing overtime pay as a way to undermine the union’s position.
Ackley asserts her dismissal was political in nature and that the stipulation that just cause be offered and a hearing held before she could legally be dismissed from her position was designed to protect police chiefs from just this sort of situation.
Ackley filed a request for mediation in September that was never responded to. The mayor’s office requested the new mediation this week.