EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 19, 2013

Zanni hires private lawyer for Solomon case


The chief filed a federal suit in May 2011, accusing former Mayor Manzi and the city of “unconstitutional and retaliatory actions” for “illegally” firing him. The city has filed counterclaims against Solomon to recoup nearly $200,000 it repaid to the federal government several years ago. The city claims the chief did not fulfill contractual duties in overseeing federal grants.

City councilors indemnified Manzi in September 2011, granting him personal legal protection in the suit because he acted “within the scope of his official duties” as mayor when he fired Solomon. Manzi served as mayor from 2006 to 2011.

Zanni said Toomey of the firm Murphy, Hess, Toomey and Lehane will be present for next week’s scheduling conference. If the case proceeds to trial, the mayor said he will assess the potential cost with city councilors.

“It will be very short money between now and (Feb. 26),” said Zanni. “If it goes to trial, I’ll have to discuss it further with the council.”

McQuillan too may appear on the city’s behalf.

When a reporter asked if he would be present, McQuillan said, “I’m still an attorney of record.”

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