RETURN DATE: NOVEMBER 22,2011 WILLIAM BUSCETTO, Plaintiff, v. SAINT BERNARD SCHOOL of MONTVILLE, INC.

and THE NORWICH ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESAN CORPORATION Defendants COMPLAINT COUNT ONE:
1.

SUPERIOR COURT

JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF NEW LONDON

OCTOBER 19, 2011

VIOLATION OF CONN. GEN. STAT. § 31-51q

Plaintiff, William Buscetto, is an individual who resides at 3-1 Huntley Road, Old

Lyme, Connecticut. 2. Defendant Saint Bernard School of Montville, Inc. (the "School") is located at

1593 Norwich-New London Turnpike, Uncasville, Connecticut, and operates a High School and Middle School on property owned by Defendant The Norwich Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation ("Diocese of Norwich"), located at 201 Broadway, Norwich, Connecticut. 3. At all times relevant to this complaint, Defendants were the joint or integrated

employers of Plaintiff in that the Diocese of Norwich owns the School, controls its Board of Directors and the employment policies and practices of the Diocese of Norwich governed the employment relationship that Plaintiff had with the SchooL 4. Plaintiff began his employment with Defendants in August 2007. He was hired as

the School's Athletic Director and, in December of2007, he was also hired as the School's Baseball Coach. 5. Since Plaintiff assumed his position, he has brought significant recognition to the

School by virtue of his leadership of the athletic department, including the award of the CIAC's

Michael's Cup - the highest award an athletic department can receive in the State of Connecticut - for both the 2009-2010 and 2010:.2011 school years. 6. During the 2007-2008 school year, Plaintiff, after giving generously to the School

at its Saints Alumni Auction and Ball, was told by the School's headmaster, William McKenna: "If you keep donating money like this we are going to keep you around for a very long time." 7. Additionally, during the 2008-2009 Alumni Auction and Ball, Headmaster

McKenna told Plaintiff to "keep spending that money, kid." 8. Upon his hire, Plaintiff dedicated significant efforts toward improving the

condition of the School's athletic facilities and fields. As part ofthis effort, Plaintiff organized the Saint Bernard Athletics Golf Tournament in 2008 and 2009. Plaintiff had an agreement with Headmaster William McKenna and other administrators that the money raised would be used exclusively for improvement in the athletic department in order to upgrade facilities and for equipment and uniforms for the School's teams. The golf tournament was advertised as a charitable event for the aforementioned purpose, and received matching contributions from Pfizer, Inc. and Merrill Lynch, among others, including at least one member of the Board of Directors for 9.

st. Bernard

School.

By virtue of the golf tournament, approximately $25,000 was raised as charitable

contributions for the School's student athletes. Plaintiff was able to spend approximately $5,000 of that money after the first year. 10. Following the roughly $5,000 expenditure, Plaintiffs efforts to utilize the money

that was purportedly earmarked for athletic improvements were rebuffed by Headmaster McKenna, beginning in the fall of2009. A series of flimsy excuses on the part of Headmaster McKenna eventually resolved to the position that the Board had placed a moratorium of

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spending the golf tournament money. McKenna then told Plaintiff that the money would be better spent on buses, which is a budgeted item included in normal operating expenses rather than improvements to athletic facilities and equipment. 11. Following his inability to access funds which should appropriately have been

accessible for improvements in athletic facilities, equipment, and uniforms for student athletes, Plaintiff advised Headmaster McKenna and Principal Deb Fitzgerald that he would not proceed with the golf tournament in 2010 because he would not allow himself to be placed in the position of misrepresenting to the public what use was being made of the money. Plaintiff also spoke to the Advancement Director about these concerns. 12. As a graduate of the School, an employee, and a donor, Plaintiff was highly. of funds and financial mismanagement, and conveyed

concerned about the misappropriation

those concerns to Board of Trustee Chair Brother Lawrence Harvey, Superintendent Shine, Headmaster McKenna, Director of Advancement Betty Baillargeon, Principal Deb Fitzgerald, Vice-Principal James Venditto, former Principal Tony Baginski, former Director of Advancement Ann Renehan-Knowles, individuals shared Plaintiff s concerns. 13. Out of frustration with the School's failure to provide funding from the proceeds and Business Manager Ann Nettleton. Some of these

of the 2008 and 2009 golf tournaments for improvements to athletic facilities, Plaintiff used approximately $70,000 of his own money to improve the fields and to purchase equipment. 14. Plaintiffs expenditure of his own money to fund certain school projects was done

with the full knowledge and tacit acceptance of Defendants. 15. The projects that Plaintiff personally funded included a new softball field so that

the School's softball team would no longer need to travel off-site for practice and home games,

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building a new field for lacrosse and soccer for the middle and high schools to use, an artificial

turf rug and repairs to the School's batting cages, clearing out an area behind home plate of the
baseball field to make room for a sitting area to watch games, which eliminated a blind spot for the safety of cross country runners, and the starting of construction of brand new dugouts for the School's baseball diamond. 16. Throughout the process of his improvements to the athletic facilities, Plaintiff

kept Defendants apprised of the status of his projects. Numerous individuals with management and decision-making responsibilities inspected the fields, including Headmaster William McKenna, Facilities Liaison from the Board of Trustees Daniel Moran, and multiple members of the Board of Trustees of the School. Additionally, Principal Deb Fitzgerald and Vice-Principal Jim Venditto were regularly sent emails and pictures informing them of the progress of the projects. 17. Plaintiff also personally drove Principal Fitzgerald and Vice-Principal Venditto to

the fields to see the progress of the upgrades and construction. 18. Despite their knowledge of the upgrades being made to the School's athletic

facilities, including an update on the status of the work made at a Board meeting by Principal Fitzgerald, Defendants remained silent and took no action to discourage or prevent Plaintiff from creating the new fields, repairing the batting cages, or clearing a sitting area at the School's baseball diamond. 19. During the winter of the 2010-2011 school year, Plaintiff had a meeting with

Superintendant Shine to voice his concerns about the mismanagement of funds and harassment he was experiencing at the hands of Headmaster McKenna, which he believed to be the result of his concerns that the School was mismanaging the donations that were supposed to be earmarked

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for athletic program improvements. 20. In or around mid-April of2011, the Headmaster ordered that bleachers next to the

School's track be taken down. Following the work taking them down, shards of metal and wood were left behind, sticking out of the ground, with no safety measures taken to keep students from walking amongst the remains of the bleachers. 21. Plaintiff, concerned that students could be endangered by sharp pieces of metal

and wood, contacted the Headmaster numerous times requesting that the materials be cleared in the interest of student safety. The Headmaster never responded to Plaintiffs requests. 22. The dangerous materials were not cleaned up until after school ended for the year, inquiries and

approximately three months after Plaintiff had begun requesting that the materials be removed in the interest of student safety. 23. On June 1, 2011, Plaintiff was leaving School grounds when he noticed that a

young student was left at the Middle School, alone in the lobby, with no supervision. Concerned for the student's safety, Plaintiff remained with the student until his mother came to pick him up. 24. Following the incident with the student being left unattended, Plaintiff contacted

Deb Fitzgerald, Mary Dillman, and James Venditto with his concerns for student safety where students are left completely alone on School grounds after hours with no one to look after their safety. Despite Plaintiffs problem. 25. On June 15,2011, at approximately 6 p.m., coaches and football players were concerns, he received no reply from any School official regarding this

present at the athletics facilities, in the weight room, and on the football field for summer conditioning. This activity was authorized by Mr. Buscetto and the Headmaster. At that time,

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Michael Egan, the Facilities Director for the School, arrived in an intoxicated state, "reeking of alcohol" according to the coaches present. 26. In a belligerent and incoherent manner, Mr. Egan repeatedly demanded that all

individuals present evacuate the facilities on the instruction of the Headmaster. When the Head Coach, Scott Cook, asked for the Headmaster's phone number to clarify the situation, Mr. Egan stated that he had the Headmaster's 27. phone number, but refused to give it to Mr. Cook.

With no other option in the face of Mr. Egan's demands, the football players and

coaches left the facility. 28. This was not the first time Mr. Egan had exhibited questionable behavior on

School grounds. 29. When the aforementioned incident with Mr. Egan was reported to Plaintiff by the

football coaches, Plaintiff immediately obtained email confirmation from witnesses. The next day, Plaintiff sent an email to Headmaster McKenna, Superintendent Shine, and Board Chair Brother Lawrence Harvey to report the incident and seek assistance. 30. In that email, Plaintiff specifically advised the recipients of his concern for the

safety of the students in the face of an irrational, intoxicated Facilities Director. Plaintiff further advised that he had instructed his coaches to "secure the kids" the next time Mr. Egan appeared

in an intoxicated state and to call the police.
31. Plaintiff's concerns were further enhanced both because it was evident that Mr.

Egan had operated a motor vehicle to arrive at the school on June 15,2011, and had access to other machinery at the schooL 32. Within twenty-seven hours of Plaintiff sending the email relating to his concerns

for the students' safety, Superintendent Shine and Headmaster McKenna terminated Plaintiff's

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employment. Plaintiff was given a letter at the meeting that contained false accusations concerning his son and other matters related to his employment. 33. At that meeting, in response to Plaintiff's inquiry as to what action would be

taken with regard to Mr. Egan's intoxication on school grounds, he was advised the matter would be taken care of the following Monday. 34. To Plaintiff's knowledge, no action was taken with respect to Mr. Egan, who

remains an employee of the School as of the filing of this Complaint. 35. Moreover, Plaintiff was admonished for bringing Mr. Egan's public intoxication

on school grounds to light by the Superintendent, who told Plaintiff that he "shouldn't accuse fellow employees of such actions." 36. For the time period from Plaintiffs hire to Plaintiffs termination, Plaintiff was

never given a single reprimand, verbal or written warning, or discipline of any kind. 37. Throughout his time as an employee of the School, Plaintiff, on numerous

occasions, reached out to the Headmaster, Superintendant, and other members of School management with concerns relating to mismanagement of funds and student safety, and the hostile environment and harassment he endured at hands of the Headmaster following his repeated voicing of those concerns. Plaintiff's concerns were never adequately addressed, if they were replied to at all. 38. Plaintiff's complaints about the threat to student safety in relation to the presence

of an intoxicated School employee on School grounds are complaints on a matter of public concern that is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Sections 3,4, or 14 of Article First of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.

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39.

Additionally, Plaintiffs

complaints about the mismanagement, misrepresentation,

transparency, and truthful accounting of the use of student funds donated for the improvement of the School's athletic programs are complaints on a matter of public concern that is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Sections 3, 4, or 14 of Article First of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut. Misrepresentation and misuse of donations intended

for the improvement ofthe School's athletic facilities is a gross injustice to the community at large. 40. Plaintiff was terminated in retaliation for his speech on matters of public concern

in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 31-51 q. Plaintiff repeatedly voiced concerns over
the mismanagement, misrepresentation, the School' s athletic programs. 41. Furthermore, Plaintiff s termination was in retaliation for his speech on matters of and transparency of the use of student funds donated to

public concern related to an intoxicated employee being a threat to student safety, in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 31-51 q. 42. As a result of Defendants' unlawful conduct, Plaintiff has suffered damages,

including economic damages, loss of benefits, damage to reputation, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment oflife, loss of enjoyment of profession, and attorney's fees and costs associated with this action.

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COUNT TWO:

BREACH OF CONTRACT

1-37. Plaintiff hereby incorporates Paragraph 1 through Paragraph 37 of the above Count One as Paragraph 1 through Paragraph 37 of this Count Two as if fully set forth herein. 38. Headmaster William McKenna's promise that Plaintiff would continue to be

employed by Defendants so long as he continued his financial support of the School constituted a an implied contract to continue to employ Plaintiff for as long as he continued to financially support the School. 39. Plaintiff accepted Defendants' offer by continuing to financially support the

School with significant personal donations. 40. Defendants' consideration for their offer to employ Plaintiff so long as he donated

to the School was to continue employing Plaintiff while he continued making significant financial contributions to the School. 41. Plaintiff s consideration for his acceptance of Defendants' offer was his sustained

and continuing financial support through significant financial contributions. 42. Accordingly, Defendants' offer, Plaintiffs acceptance, and the presence of

consideration on the part of both parties formed a legally binding contract to continue Plaintiffs employment ifhe continued to financially support the School. 43. Said contract was an employment contract which forbade Defendant from

terminating Plaintiff except for good cause related to his performance. 44. Defendant breached said contract when it terminated Plaintiffs employment

without good cause on June 17,2011. 45. As a result of Defendants' breach, Plaintiff has suffered damages, including

economic damages, loss of benefits, damage to reputation, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment

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of life, loss of enjoyment of profession, and attorney's fees and costs associated with this action.

COUNT THREE:

PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL

1~37. Plaintiff hereby incorporates Paragraph 1 through Paragraph 37 of the above Count One as Paragraph 1 through Paragraph 37 of this Count Three as if fully set forth herein. 38. Headmaster William McKenna's promise that Plaintiffwould continue to be

employed by Defendants so long as he continued his financial support of the School constituted a specific promise by Defendants which Defendants should have reasonably expected to induce action on the part of Plaintiff. 39. Plaintiff did, in fact, act by continuing his financial support of the School,

including spending approximately $70,000 of his own money to pay for improvements to the School's athletic facilities, to his detriment. 40. Given the facts and circumstances described herein, injustice can be avoided only

by enforcement of Defendants' promise. 41. Based on the foregoing, Defendants are liable to Plaintiff on the basis of

promissory estoppel. 42. As a result of Defendants' failure to keep their promise to Plaintiff, injustice can reinstatement to his full previous position with equivalent rank and

only be avoided by Plaintiffs

benefits, or by the compensation of Plaintiff for his losses incurred as a result of his reliance upon Defendants' promise.

COUNT FOUR:

UNJUST ENRICHMENT

1~37. Plaintiff hereby incorporates Paragraph 1 through Paragraph 37 of the above Count One as Paragraph 1 through Paragraph 37 of this Count Four as if fully set forth herein.

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38.

Defendants were benefited by the Plaintiff spending approximately $70)000 of his

own money to improve the School's athletic facilities. 39. Defendants did not pay Plaintiff for his improvements to the athletic facilities,

despite the fact that tens of thousands of dollars had been donated to the schools that were earmarked for improvements to the athletics department. 40. Defendants terminated Plaintiffs unlawfully terminated Plaintiffs contract from

employment in such a manner as to attain maximum benefit from Plaintiff s financial contributions prior to terminating him. 41. Defendants undertook this course of action with evil motive or intent to extract

the maximum possible amount of money from Plaintiff prior to terminating his employment, in derogation of their promise to employ Plaintiff so long as he continued his financial support of the School. 42. The failure of payment to Plaintiff and Plaintiff's termination following his

generous donations was to his detriment. 43. As a result of Defendants' termination of, and failure to pay, Plaintiffhas suffered

damages, including economic damages, loss of benefits, damage to reputation, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of enjoyment of profession, and attorney's fees and costs associated with this action. 44. Additionally, Defendants have been unjustly enriched in an amount equal to the

financial contributions made by Plaintiff toward the School. 45. As a result of Defendants' unjust enrichment, Plaintiff is entitled to payment

equal to the Plaintiffs

expenditures to improve Defendants' athletic facilities and equipment.

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DEMAND FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands a TRIAL BY JURY and claims judgment against the Defendants for the following relief: 1. Economic damages including, but not limited to: back pay, front pay, retirement

benefits, and health and disability benefits with interest from the date said sums were due in accordance with § 31-51q; 2. Non-economic damages including, but not limited to: emotional distress, harm to

reputation, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of enjoyment of profession; 3. Attorneys' fees and costs of this action, including litigation costs and expert fees,

pursuant to § 31-51q; 4. Repayment of all monies expended by Plaintiff out of pocket to improve

Defendants' athletic facilities and equipment; 5. 6. 7. Punitive damages pursuant to § 31-51q; Interest pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 37-3a; and Such other further relief as this Court deems necessary and proper.

cqu J. P en eau Ju . eriault Madsen, Prestley & Parenteau, LLC 105 Huntington Street P.O. Box 1631 New London, CT 06320 Tele: (860) 442':'2466 Fax: (860) 447-9206 Juris Number 418345 12

RETURN DATE: NOVEMBER 22, 2011 WILLIAM BUSCETTO, Plaintiff, v. SAINT BERNARD SCHOOL of MONTVILLE, INC. and THE NORWICH ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESAN CORPORATION Defendants SUPERIOR COURT

JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF NEW LONDON

OCTOBER 19, 2011

STATEMENT OF AMOUNT IN DEMAND

The amount in demand is greater than $15,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs of suit.

PLAINTIFF, WILLIAM BUSCETTO

enteau heriault Madsen, Prestley & Parenteau, LLC 105 Huntington Street P.O. Box 1631 New London, CT 06320 Tele: (860) 442-2466 Fax: (860) 447-9206 Juris Number 418345

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