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East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. (Photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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The lawsuit against the Town of East Haven and Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr., claiming the wrongful firing and sexual harassment of a former town employee was settled for $175,000 plus benefits on Sept. 12, the day the suit was set to go to court.
Francine Carbone was employed by the town from 1997 until she went on leave under the Family Medical Leave Act in 2014. She filed the lawsuit against Maturo in 2015, citing sexual harassment throughout his tenure as mayor. The mayor has denied the allegations.
Carbone alleges that the mayor exposed himself to her in October 2013. She also says that Maturo often made comments regarding her breasts, including one statement corroborated by Assessor Michael Milici in a portion of deposition footage released by Carbone’s attorney, Rachel Baird.
In the video, Maturo is said to have asked Carbone, “Seriously, how much do those things weigh?”
Carbone settled the case for a payment of $175,000 and remission of medical benefits until the age of 65, benefits that, according to a statement released by Town Attorney Joseph Zullo, she “would have likely received had her employment not abruptly concluded in 2014.”
“The offer to provide medical benefits…was something that [Carbone] needed,” said Baird. It’s a good thing for her family to be able to go forward with medical insurance.”
The $175,000 payment will be borne by the town of East Haven, not by the mayor personally. Calls to Town Hall to clarify details of the payments were unreturned.
“Ms. Carbone has carried forth this fight since 2014…It’s now 2018,” Baird said. “It’s time for people in East Haven to look at people in authority and hold them accountable or not.”
Democratic Town Committee chairman Marc Conte will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14 where he is expected to call for Maturo’s resignation.
In his statement to the press, Zullo said that the settlement “will contain no admission of liability as to any of Mrs. Carbone’s claims, all of which both the town and the mayor vehemently continue to deny.”
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