Woodbridge Fire Marshal Resigns, Will Pay Town

According to the settlement announced Wednesday night, Cavanagh will pay the town $26,000.


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.

WoodbridgeWatch October 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I have no connection to Mr. Cavanagh or other volunteers other than what I think are important facts to bring up and consider. In my opinion the most important line in the story is this one: "Before that, he has provided even longer service as a volunteer firefighter." Residents of Woodbridge who have not done so, need to start realizing what a gift ALL the volunteer firemen give to this community. Putting aside the way Mr. Cavanagh's career with the town is ending-- it should be noted in a basic estimate of what this man gave to Woodbridge in donated time. Estimating 50 weeks per year and roughly 8 hours per week, over at least 12 years of volunteering = 4,800 hours. [my guess is it was way more, but we'll use these numbers] A paid firefighter would probably have cost the town at least $50 in salary and benefits over the same time period, probably more. For sake of example consider the 4,800 hours Mr. Cavanagh donated x $50 = $ 240,000 the town saved. Taking away the overpayment he has been accused of and the net total Woodbridge saved in the years this man gave to the town = $204,000.
say what? October 11, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Deputy Fire Marshal? I thought they fired him last year? So who's going to do this job? It's a shame for what they did to Mr. Cavanaugh. He made a mistake, but I don't think this punishment fits the fault. Then again, I'm sure we don't know the entire story.
Bethany October 11, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Another past fireman falls. I was a fireman for many years also. Dont be patting everyone on the back for the service. Many of these people do what they do for whatever they can gain out of it. Seems to me some are gaining alot, and a few get caught. And they do get paid with bonds and other perks.
Bethany October 11, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Woodbridgewatch. This man gave to the town 204k? Are you serious? He knew he was being over paid and he got caught. Say what. He made a mistake? What if he worked for your company and did the same thing to you?


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