BRENTWOOD — The town of Salem and its employees deny the accusations made in former Deputy Chief Rob Morin’s civil lawsuit, according to the town's recent response filed in Rockingham County Superior Court.
In the suit, Morin accuses Town Manager Chris Dillon and Human Resources Director Anne Fogarty, as well as their their municipal employer — the town of Salem, of defamation, false light, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and fraud.
“Defendants acted in good faith and did not violate any rights which may be secured to (Morin),” the town's response to the suit states.
At the center of the controversy between Morin and town officials is an audit by Kroll Inc., ordered by Dillon in early 2018.
Kroll reviewed the processes and practices of the Salem Police Department as a first step to evaluate and obtain recommendations on improvements.
The audit was prompted by informal citizen complaints, including one by resident Mary Jo Driggers — who is also being sued by Morin and who is separately suing Morin, police Sgt. Michael Bernard, and the town alleging the department violated her civil rights by unlawfully detaining her and searching her home without a warrant.
In Morin’s lawsuit, he alleges that Fogarty, Dillon and former Human Resources Director Molly McKean made numerous false and defamatory statements about him.
That led to Morin suffering “damage to his reputation and career, lost wages, loss of advancement, loss of future career opportunities and earning capacity, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life,” according to the lawsuit.
In its response, the town says that “to the extent (Morin) claims to have suffered damages, such damages were caused by (Morin’s) own acts or omissions.”
In his lawsuit, Morin also criticizes the way Dillon publicly distributed the audit.
Morin says Dillon sent the audit out to all Salem police employees in an electronic copy that could be viewed without any redactions.
That copy of the audit was also posted briefly on the town’s website before the mistake was realized, Morin alleges in his suit.
In its response, the town contends that there was no wrongdoing and town officials re-released the audit with physical redactions that could not be undone by software.
The town asked the court to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning Morin cannot refile the lawsuit, and that the town be paid back for its attorney fees.
The next step in this case is a hearing set for Sept. 4.