Nicholas B. Carter was quoted in a news article on the City of Fitchburg's appeal of a federal court decision awarding his client $1.5 million, plus attorney’s fees, interest, and costs, based on an earlier jury verdict against the City and its former mayor for employment discrimination and defamation.
The claims of Mr. Carter's client stem from the withdrawal of the client's nomination as police chief in 2014. The federal jury found that the former mayor, Lisa A. Wong, made a defamatory statement to the media about the firm's client, Scott Heagney, after she had abruptly withdrawn him for consideration as police chief.
The jury also determined that the city engaged in employment discrimination by excluding Mr. Heagney's name from consideration because he did not disclose a decades-old criminal case against him for which no conviction resulted and for which the records were sealed.
The City of Fitchburg's appeal challenges the underlying verdict plus the federal trial court judge's award to Mr. Heagney of an additional $800,000 in interest, legal fees and other costs.
Mr. Carter told the Sentinel & Enterprise that the judgment is supported by the law.
"Mr. Heagney does plan on vigorously opposing the appeal," Mr. Carter said. "We are confident of success."
Joseph M. Cacace of the firm is also representing Mr. Heagney in the case.