A paralegal alleges in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that Naugatuck’s Republican mayor and two state representatives, told her boss that he would lose his job as town attorney if he didn’t fire her.
Why? Because Anne Ciacciarella is a Democrat, who worked as campaign coordinator for Democratic mayoral candidate, Curt Bosco. In addition her husband is on the Democratic Town Committee and the Zoning Commission in Naugatuck.
The lawsuit alleges that on May 7, 2007 when Republican Mayor Michael Bronko was elected, Town Attorney Donald Zehnder asked Ciacciarella to come work with him. She agreed to take the job and started on May 21.
According to the lawsuit the defendants, Bronko and state Representatives Kevin DelGobbo and Len Greene, had a series of conversations between May 7 and May 23 and concluded Ciacciarella’s employment with Zehnder would “make it impossible for defendant Zehnder to serve as town counsel for Naugatuck because she was a Democrat and because of her husbands political ambitions.”
“The three defendants agreed that defendant Zehnder would be given an ultimatum either to fire plaintiff or lose his position as town counsel,” the lawsuit states.
Just four days after she started the job, Zehnder fired her. The lawsuit claims Zehnder claimed he could not comment on the reasons why he had to let her go, only that he earned $100,000 a year as the town’s attorney and could not jeopardize that income. Initially, the lawsuit claims that he told people he fired her for lack of work, but it wasn’t long before he took an ad out in the local paper looking to fill the position.
Several weeks after he fired her, Zehnder started telling people he let her go because she looked in files she was not authorized to examine. The lawsuit claims the allegation is false and defamatory.
In Naugatuck the town attorney serves at the pleasure of the mayor.
Norman Pattis, Ciacciarella’s attorney, claims that the defendants deprived her of her First Amendment right of association.