The Dukes County Superior Court Wednesday dismissed multiple allegations made last year in a suit filed by Patricia Mark against Tisbury Police Chief Daniel Hanavan and town administrator Jay Grande.
Allegations of libel, slander, and constructive discharge were dismissed based on a lack of legal facts.
Attorney and former Tisbury Police Chief Ted Saulnier, who represented Mark, said his client reported a false statement made by an unspecified person, resulting in her reprimand and subsequent resignation as administrative secretary to the chief.
The original claim, that Hanavan violated the Whistleblower Protection Act by reprimanding Mark after she reported her concerns, was negated because statement of any specific misconduct was absent in Mark’s initial report.
The whistleblower statutes protect government workers from retaliation after reporting apparent legal misconduct such as safety concerns and other protected activity, according to the U.S. Department of Labor website.
Charges of libel and slander were dismissed after Judge Mitchell Kaplan ruled that Saulnier did not provide sufficient evidence of Hanavan being involved in those activities, and that he was stating legal conclusions, as opposed to pleading facts.
The charge of constructive discharge was filed by Mark after she resigned from her position.
Constructive discharge is when an employee voluntarily leaves a position because the work environment has become intolerable or hostile, according to the mass.gov website.
Kaplan dismissed the constructive discharge allegation because no evidence was provided by Saulnier that proved Mark had no alternative but to quit.
The charges of constructive discharge, libel, and slander could be brought again so long as evidence is supplied to support the claims.