Stuart sued for slander Former town treasurer files again Bridgewater first selectman
Former town treasurer files again Bridgewater first selectman
Former Bridgewater town treasurer Amy Allingham has filed a slander suit against First Selectman Bill Stuart.
In papers filed Aug. 26 in Connecticut Superior Court in Litchfield, Ms. Allingham asks for $250,000 in punitive damages, claiming defamation, intentional infliction of emotional stress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
In her affidavit in support of a prejudgment remedy, Ms. Allingham claims that Mr. Stuart has "intentionally said... defamatory things about me to retaliate against my family and me as retribution for publicly questioning his conduct as first selectman, and to distract attention from the ongoing investigation into his expenditures from the Burnham Fund."
Mr. Stuart refused to comment Tuesday on the suit or Ms. Allingham's claims, beyond saying he thinks the Allinghams are "retaliating here, and I think the townspeople can see that."
Relations between Mr. Stuart and the Allingham family deteriorated last fall, when George Allingham, former Board of Finance chairman and Amy Allingham's father-in-law, made public accusations about Mr. Stuart and the Burnham Fund, a trust set up to assist the town's needy residents.
Mr. Allingham, who had been close friends with Mr. Stuart going back to their days at New Milford High School in the early 1960s, requested an investigation by the state attorney general's office to determine if the fund had been mismanaged. That investigation continues.
Accusations have gone back and forth since the fall, with Mr. Stuart claiming the Allinghams are making public a private dispute over his censure of Ms. Allingham's work hours.
On March 1, Ms. Allingham resigned her position as town treasurer, an elected post she'd held since 1994.
In the slander suit, she alleges Mr. Stuart showed "visible anger" toward her from the time she released documents on the Burnham Fund, as she was required to do for a Freedom of Information request filed by a third party.
In April, Ms. Allingham cooperated with the state attorney general's office request for information about Mr. Stuart's administration of the fund, according to the defamation suit.
The defamation charge stems from a May 26 Board of Finance meeting, at which Mr. Stuart allegedly spoke of a former town treasurer, Shari Gray, who was arrested and sentenced for embezzlement of town funds.
Just before that, Mr. Stuart had reportedly made comments about Ms. Allingham and the town's Reserve Fund.
The suit claims Mr. Stuart's comments, both public and private, have caused Ms. Allingham to sustain economic losses and "emotional suffering and humiliation."
Ms. Allingham's attorney is John R. Downey of Rome McGuigan, P.C., in Hartford.