from a public forum in New Durham

Nov 6, 2015 1:37 PM

Lawsuit over firing of police chief heading to court

NEW DURHAM - Lawyers for the town are pushing back against a lawsuit filed by police Chief Shawn Bernier who was abruptly fired in July, triggering an outcry in the community.

Lawyers for the town are defending the decision and say selectmen did not act improperly by firing Bernier.

Bernier's lawyer, Michael Ramsdell, has argued that Bernier's firing 'without cause' violated his contract with the town. He also believes that some of the board's decision-making processes, including the closed-door discussions and vote on the chief's employment, was a violation of state law.

Ramsdell, says the case is heading to court and that he's confident Bernier will get his job back.

“We will be submitting a schedule to the court that asks for a hearing as soon as possible as to Shawn’s reinstatement as New Durham’s police chief,” Ramsdell said.

Ramsdell says the next step will be to have a structural conference in Strafford Superior Court.

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