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Varney files petition against New Durham


by Tim Croes
Staff Writer - The Baysider
April 09, 2014
NEW DURHAM — A petition has been filed by attorney Paul Monzione on behalf of Peter Varney, the former New Durham Fire Chief, against the Town of New Durham.

The petition was filed in Strafford County Court on March 17.

In February of this year, the New Durham Board of Selectmen decided to hire an interim chief and to let Varney go as the chief.

He was originally hired in 2009, and signed a three-year agreement that expired in 2012. He then worked as at "at will" employee, until the selectmen to decided to move in another direction.

The decision to dismiss Varney as chief was made during a meeting on Feb. 3. The item wasn't listed on the agenda for the meeting.

The petition alleges that Varney was dismissed without cause.

It also reads: "At all times relevant hereto, the acts as herein alleged on the part of the BOS were done intentionally and maliciously in that one of the members of the BOS has a predisposition against Chief Varney due to a personal dislike and a vengeful motive, and therefore Petitioner is a entitled to costs and attorneys fees for bringing of this Petition."

The petition asks for the following: "For the alleged dismissal and/or termination of his position as the Fire Chief of the town of New Durham to be negated, for a court order reinstating Chief Varney as the Fire Chief of the Town of New Durham and for all recoverable economic and consequential damages, including all special damage, and for costs, attorney's fees and interest."

The petition ends with the following request: "Petitioner, Peter Varney, hereby requests a hearing on the merits of this Petition and reasonableness of such conduct pursuant to RSA 154:5 II."

A hearing has not yet been scheduled to hearing the case in Strafford County Court.

The petition also included an attachment that displayed the oath of office that Varney took when he was first hired as the fire chief on May 5, 2009. As mentioned before, his original term as the chief expired in March of 2012, and he then worked as an "at will employee" before being dismissed.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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