United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM AND MOTION TO DISMISS FOR INSUFFICIENT SERVICES OF PROCESS (Dkt. Nos. 13 and 34)
MARK G. MASTROIANNI, District Judge.
Dennis Olisky ("Plaintiff") brings this action against Defendants, Town of East Longmeadow ("TEL"), Town of East Longmeadow Department of Public Works ("DPW"), Town of East Longmeadow Board of Public Works, David Gromaski, Douglas Mellis, John Collins, Town of East Longmeadow Board of Selectmen, Nicholas Breault, and James Driscoll (collectively "Defendants"). He alleges Defendants violated his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as his Article I, § 10 right to be free from legislatively-imposed interference with an existing contract, and he alleged the municipal Defendants "maintained an unconstitutional municipal custom or policy" which caused others to violate those civil rights. (Dkt. No. 28, Amended Complaint ("Compl.").) Plaintiff also brought several claims under state law, requesting the court to exercise supplemental jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. (Id.) James Driscoll filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and for insufficient service of process on October 8, 2014. (Dkt. No. 13.) The remaining Defendants subsequently filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on January 30, 2015. (Dkt. No. 34.) Plaintiff opposed both of these motions on March 2, 2015. (Dkt. Nos. 41, 42.)
For the following reasons, the court grants Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiff's federal claims for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The court also declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's remaining state-law claims. The court need not rule on James Driscoll's motion to dismiss for insufficient service of process.
II. PLAINTIFF'S FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS PERTINENT TO THE COURT'S RULING
A. Generator Incident at DPW
Plaintiff is a former employee of DPW. (Compl. ¶ 1.) On June 1, 2011, while Plaintiff was employed by DPW, the Town of East Longmeadow lost power in the late afternoon due to a nearby tornado at a point when DPW employees had already gone home for the day. (Id. ¶ 11). On June 2, 2011, John Collins, the DPW Supervisor, orally informed a group of workers, which did not include Plaintiff, that they were not permitted to borrow any equipment because of the tornado. (Id. ¶ 12.) A different DPW supervisor, Roy Esposito, noticed that a generator was missing that afternoon, and he called Plaintiff to inquire about its whereabouts. (Id. ¶ 12.) Plaintiff informed Mr. Esposito that he did not know where the generator was, and suggested calling another employee. (Id. ¶ 12.) At the time he suggested that Mr. Esposito call the other employee, Plaintiff knew this employee had borrowed the generator in question. (Id. ¶ 14, 16.)
Mr. Esposito found the generator on the DPW campus that same day, several hours after he called Plaintiff to inquire about it. (Id. ¶ 16.) On June 8, 2011, the employee who had taken the generator informed Mr. Esposito that Plaintiff was not involved its disappearance. (Id. ¶ 20.) DPW held a hearing on June 9, 2011, in which Plaintiff was asked to give a written statement about the incident. (Id. ¶ 21.) Plaintiff states he did not "admit to any dishonesty or any egregious such cover up as falsely alleged by defendants." (Id.) On June 14, 2011, Defendant David Gromaski notified Plaintiff of a DPW Board disciplinary hearing regarding Plaintiff's role in the generator incident. (Id. ¶ 22.) Following this hearing, Plaintiff resigned on June 24, 2011, having "admitted to no wrongdoing." (Id. ¶ 23.)
On July 1, 2011, Plaintiff attempted to withdraw his resignation, and he filed a "complaint/grievance both through union legal counsel and individually with Defendant David Gromaski, which claimed in part wrongful termination, misrepresentation and discriminatory retaliation." (Id. ¶ 24.) To Plaintiff's knowledge, Mr. Gromanski "did not accept the complaint or investigate the complaint" before writing to Plaintiff "denying his grievance, without any hearing, citing patently false, inconsistent and inaccurate allegations of [P]laintiff's lying and covering up his activities." (Id.)
B. Plaintiff's "Bypass" for Town of East Longmeadow Police Officer Position
Due to retirements and promotions, two vacancies for Town of East Longmeadow Police Officer positions arose in 2012. (Id. ¶ 30.) Plaintiff took the civil service examination and was invited to interview for the Police Officer position. (Id. ¶ 31.) Plaintiff was then informed that he would be receiving a final interview for the position. (Id. ¶ 32.)
On November 26, 2012, Defendant David Gromaski sent to Defendant Douglas Mellis "an 18 page packet of information concerning [P]laintiff's 2011 resignation... containing knowingly materially false allegations of [P]laintiff's alleged dishonesty and his intent to cover up the whereabouts of the generator, which have been proven false and admitted to as being inconsistent, inaccurate, and untrue by defendants' own employees." (Id. ¶ 34.) As a result, on November 26, 2012, Mr. Mellis "called [P]laintiff into his office in the afternoon and informed him that he was being bypassed due to acts of dishonesty stemming from the... generator incident." (Id. ¶ 35). Plaintiff explains in his complaint that, while the Board of Selectmen (the body with appointing authority for all positions in the Town of East Longmeadow Police Department) typically has three members, only two members were serving on the occasion when his bypass was solidified. (Id. ¶ 38).
In 2012, Plaintiff again sought an appointment for the Town of East Longmeadow Police Department, but he was again bypassed for the same reasons. (Id. ¶ 41). On September 19, 2013, Plaintiff's counsel filed a charge of discrimination with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination ("MCAD") at the Worcester City Hall Office. (Id. ¶ 44). On February 3, 2014, ...