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Treasurer, Bridgewater come to terms

Published 4:46 pm, Wednesday, November 14, 2012
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A settlement has been reached in the suit brought by the Bridgewater treasurer, Joseph Caruso, against the town.

The suit, transferred to federal court in July by attornies representing the town's interest, was settled Oct. 25, with final paperwork to be filed by Nov. 25.

Mr. Caruso had sued the town and its selectmen at the end of June demanding to be paid his full, allegedly budgeted salary of $31,500 based on the town's 2011-12 budget.

Mr. Caruso was elected treasurer in November 2011. In December, the Board of Selectmen reduced the treasurer's salary to $11,801.92 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.

The settlement reached Oct. 25 includes a payment to Mr. Caruso of $22,500 to be made by CIRMA, Bridgewater's risk management insurance company, said David Monastersky, of Howd & Ludorf, the firm representing the town in the suit.

"We view this settlement as being very favorable," said David Casagrande of Cramer & Anderson, Mr. Caruso's attorney. "The town agreed to pay the entire salary set in the fiscal year 2011 budget, plus a substantial portion of the attorney fees Mr. Caruso incurred."

He said Mr. Caruso "just wants to move on and dedicate himself to being the treasurer of the town, as he has all along."

First Selectman Bill Stuart said he is glad the suit is settled yet he blamed Nancy Hawley, the town's Board of Finance chairwoman, for having caused the suit.

"If Nancy Hawley had acted like a responsible chairman of that board, this suit wouldn't have happened," Mr. Stuart said. "Nancy Hawley could have prevented this lawsuit. Mr. Caruso was listening to her."

Mrs. Hawley said Thursday, "I played no part in advising Mr. Caruso in his legal affairs."

stuz@newstimes.com; 860-355-7322