At Wednesday's Board of Selectman meeting, Woodbridge officials announced a settlement that should serve as resolution to a months-long issue: allegedly overpaid fire marshal Michael Cavanagh has resigned.
Cavanagh first came into the limelight after a July 17 meeting in which officials alleged he had worked around 2,000 fewer hours than payment records showed. According to the terms of the settlement, Cavanagh will pay the town $26,000 in a series of installments. (He will pay the first, a $15,000 sum, on November 1, with the remainder to be broken into fourteen installments.)
It's been a long process, but First Selectman Edward Maum Sheehy says he feels the situation has been finally and totally resolved.
"I think it was a fair and reasonable settlement given the circumstances of the situation," he said.
The language of the settlement makes itself clear: it's not an admission of guilt. And according to the agreement, the town won't use the settlement or any evidence underlying it as the basis for any legal action.
For its part, the agreement Sheehy and Cavanagh signed promises town employees will not disparage Cavanagh. Additionally, the payment itself is not an admission of wrongdoing on the former fire marshal's part, but "for the purpose of settling a disputed claim."
The settlement came on the heels of a series of delayed termination hearings. At a recent hearing, Cavanagh's attorney, William Palmieri of New Haven, told Patch, "Michael Cavanagh has provided 12 years of loyal and diligent service to the folks of Woodbridge. Before that, he has provided even longer service as a volunteer firefighter. I think the service he has provided has been invaluable to the town and people of Woodbridge."
According to officials, the town's fire marshal role is "not vacant," staff, including the deputy fire marshal, will handle responsibilities for now.