The town couldn’t meet an April 12 deadline to settle a firefighter’s lawsuit claiming that municipal officials for years failed to address abuse by a superior in the department, court documents show. In requesting a third extension on behalf of both parties that day, an attorney for the firefighter noted that “[t]he plaintiff has signed off and delivered all documents necessary to resolve the matter, but the Town’s attorney advised plaintiff’s counsel this afternoon that it cannot sign off, complete its process and deliver its final documents until April 21, 2021.”
“The parties do not anticipate that there will be any further extensions requested,” Shelton-based attorney Michael Lynch of Lynch Law Group LLC said in a joint motion filed in U.S. District Court. Though Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam agreed to extend the deadline for restoring the lawsuit to the docket to April 22, she wrote in her order, “The Court notes that the motion does not comply with Local Rule 7, which requires that any motion for extension of time be filed at least three business days in advance of the deadline.”
“The Court cautions counsel against assuming that the Court will generally be either able or willing to act on motions on such short notice in the future,” she said in the order. Filed in April against the town, the suit seeks damages on behalf of John Aniello, a 42-year-old white male hired as a full-time firefighter in 2006, according to a nine-count complaint. It claims that a captain in the New Canaan Fire Department over the course of nearly one dozen years made overtly racist and homomisic comments to the firefighter, while singling him out through criticisms, quashing his bids for promotion and hampering his ability to earn wages through overtime.
Aniello’s employment with the town ended Jan.