An Ohio fire chief has filed a second lawsuit against her former employer alleging breach of a confidentiality agreement contract and intentional infliction of severe emotional distress.
Former Litchfield Township fire chief Joyce Teodecki filed the lawsuit in Medina County Common Pleas Court naming the Township and two trustees personally. Trustee Nancy Wargo was sued for defamation of character and trustee Mike Pope was sued for malicious prosecution and abuse of process
Chief Teodecki resigned as fire chief in July of 2011, following an internal investigation by a former police officer retained by the Township. The investigation concluded the chief was guilty of several charges, including misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and creating a hostile work environment. The Township and the chief signed a confidentiality agreement that the details of the investigation would not be released if she retired.
In November, 2011 the trustees voted to release the investigation report after Chief Teodecki distributed an “open letter” to the citizens of Litchfield criticizing the trustees just before the general election. The trustees claimed that Chief Teodecki was the first to violate the confidentiality agreement because the letter accused them of conducting a “witch hunt” and calling them “character assassins.”
The earlier suit filed in Federal court in December was dismissed in April based on a lack of Federal jurisdiction. In that suit Chief Teodecki alleged a violation of her 1st Amendment rights.
Chief Teodecki served in the Litchfield Township Fire Department for 34 years including 12 years as chief.
Here is a copy of the Federal court’s ruling on the motion to dismiss, which details the factual allegations. Dismissal