Ex-Sangerville employee may sue town

Posted June 10, 2010, at 1:25 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:37 a.m.

SANGERVILLE, mAINE — This town’s former plumbing inspector has filed a notice of a possible lawsuit against Sangerville claiming defamation of character regarding his past performance.

Thad Zmistowski, the town’s attorney, confirmed this week that Frank Ruksznis had filed a notice of possible claims against the town.

“My client just received Mr. Ruksznis’ notice of possible claims a few days ago and our investigation into the matter has not even begun,” Zmistowski said this week. He said it appears Ruksznis is claiming defamation based on alleged defamatory statements concerning Ruksznis’ past performance as plumbing inspector and the town’s subsequent elimination of his position.

Ruksznis, who was contacted by telephone Wednesday, said he had “no comment.”

Last month, selectmen combined the code enforcement and licensed plumbing inspector’s positions and appointed George Tozier of Guilford to fill both jobs. That removed Ruksznis, the town’s longtime plumbing inspector, from his position. At the meeting, Ruksznis’ past practice was called into question as well as the fact that he allegedly had never taken his oath of office for the past two years.

Zmistowki said his firm has represented the town of Sangerville for a number of years. He said the selectmen are “fine public servants who devote a great deal of their time in a volunteer capacity to the governance of the town.” He said it was important to remember that since Ruksznis was paid by the public, the public had a right to know such matters as the continued necessity for services.

“It is for this reason that municipalities are largely protected from claims such as those Mr. Ruksznis appears to be contemplating by the doctrine of sovereign immunity,” Zmistowki said.

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