June 25, 2018
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Fired Old Orchard Beach town manager sues to get his job back, damages

By Liz Gotthelf, Journal Tribune

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — Former Town Manager Mark Pearson is suing the town in a civil suit that seeks damages and asks for his job back.

Attorney John Richardson, on behalf of Pearson, filed an amended complaint Thursday at York County Superior Court.

On March 4, Pearson filed a lawsuit asking the court for a declaratory judgment, to determine if the town council had the authority to rescind his decision to terminate Public Works Director Bill Robertson.

In a letter dated Feb. 1, Pearson told Robertson his contract would not be renewed and Robertson’s last day of employment was April 5. The town council rescinded this decision on Feb. 21.

On March 5, the town council voted to put Pearson on paid administrative leave and terminate him effective April 3.

Richardson states in the recent amendments to the lawsuit that by terminating Pearson’s employment without cause and by not following due process requirements, the town breached the employment contract and violated the town charter, state law and the Maine and United States Constitutions.

As a result, Pearson has suffered damages including lost wages, benefits and damage to his reputation, states the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also states that the Town of Old Orchard Beach and its residents and town council have made “false and defamatory statements” about Pearson.

Pearson is asking the town to reinstate his position as town manager and award him damages, costs and attorney’s fees, the lawsuit states.

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