Branford pays $15k to settle wrongful termination lawsuit

The town of Branford paid $14,000, as well as an additional $1,000 as attorney’s fees to settle a complaint filed by a former employee, William D. Alfano, who alleged wrongful termination after an off-duty incident on August 16, 2013 led to his firing on August 21, 2013. Alfano had filed a complaint with the state Commission on Human Rights (CHRO) in February 2014 against the town. Subsequently, he also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

A settlement agreement obtained through a Freedom of Information request indicated Alfano was employed as a crossing guard for the town. According to a letter submitted to the Board of Police Commissioners, Alfano stated that the August 16 incident involved a verbal altercation between him and a woman who was spreading rumors about him having an affair with a fellow crossing guard. Alfano also specified that the woman had been making such accusations for more than a year before the confrontation in August 2013.

On the other hand, the East Haven police incident report included in the CHRO complaint file said that the woman was crying and upset when an officer arrived. She claimed that Alfano and his colleague approached her and used foul language while she was sitting in the driver’s seat after parking her car. To this, Alfano had admitted to the police that he did so as he got emotional during the exchange.

The complaint that included several letters of character reference, noted that he had not had a single incident during his three-year career as a crossing guard. The agreement also stipulated that Alfano immediately withdrew the CHRO complaint. Alfano also waived any rights or claims for further compensation, including vacation days and severance pay.

The settlement sum was paid by the town’s insurance company, Trident Insurance.

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