HOOKSETT, N.H. – A lawyer representing four town employees fired for gossiping plans to ask a judge to reinstate the women.
Manchester lawyer B.J. Branch said he is taking the case of the "Hooksett 4" to court, seeking reinstatement, back pay, legal fees and other damages. Branch said he also will challenge the town council's decision not to consider a petition signed by more than 400 voters demanding the women get their jobs back.
"The Hooksett 4 are not going away," Branch said. "The case wouldn't be about whether the town had the right to fire them, it would be about if they did it in a lawful way."
The women -- the former assessor, code enforcement officer and their assistants -- were fired in April after a lawyer hired by the town found they had discussed a rumor about Hooksett Town Administrator David Jodoin.
Sandra Piper, Michelle Bonsteel, Jessica Skorupski and Joanne Drewniak say they were wrongly fired because they did not start the rumor and they weren't the only ones who talked about it. The women say they dismissed the rumor as untrue after someone from outside Town Hall mentioned it.
"I'm definitely not going away, that's for sure," Drewniak said. "They wrongfully fired me and I shouldn't be out of work."
Branch plans to file the motion by early next week.
"That's his prerogative if he wants to go down that road," said Paul Loiselle, the council's vice chairman. "To me, slander is slander is slander."