By Chris Paul
The couple that was served a Trespass Order by the town of Londonderry back in January has had that order rescinded, and they are now able to access public buildings in the town.
During the Monday night Town Council meeting, Laura and Chris Gandia were allowed to speak during public comment and shared their feelings on how they had been treated over the past several months.
Laura Gandia worked for the town as the Associate Planner for nearly a decade and had her position eliminated back in January during a restructuring plan established by Town Manager, Mike Malaguti.
Chris Gandia is a retired Londonderry Police Captain, who left the force last year after serving the town for over 25-years.
Laura Gandia’s statement from the meeting included her feeling on Malaguti’s plan.
She said, “The proposed reorganization plan was never really a reorganization plan, but rather a retaliatory measure.”
She asked the council how is this reorganization plan working. “There is no Town Planner, no Land Use Assistant, and no Associate Planner (AP) position. The Assistant Town Manager hired a land use assistant on Monday, and now as of Friday she is no longer working. The Town hired a consultant at over $100 per hour for plan review, a service formerly provided by the AP at a significantly reduced cost. The Department is operating in violation of RSA 91-A and there has also been a decrease in service and responsiveness.
As to the No Trespass Order, she said, “Unconstitutional no trespass orders were issued by the Town Manager in furtherance of his retaliatory and oppressive measures. There have been no trespass orders issued in over 20 years, if ever, so why now, with no legitimate valid reason.”
She added, “The ACLU viewed these trespass orders as extremely problematic and unconstitutional, contacted the town and informed it of its intent to send out a public letter detailing the town’s abuses and the town immediately removed the trespass order even though we tried to reasonably and peacefully have them removed for months.”
Gandia also said there will be additional litigation coming, “I now have several pending litigation matters against the town to include direct dealings, wrongful termination, and retaliation with additional federal lawsuits to be filed. So, I am here to let you know that I am extremely disappointed and saddened by these events.”
She finished by saying, “What happened to me and to my husband is a travesty and an injustice. I will ensure that that all of the egregious actions of the town are brought to light. Our light will shine through the town’s darkness.”
Chris Gandia also commented on the reorganization plan and the No Trespass Order. Saying, “As you may know, Laura and I were finally able to get the unlawful criminal trespass orders removed once we retained the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after several requests to Town Manager, Malaguti, were denied. The ACLU attorneys contacted the town’s attorney in response to Malaguti’s egregious abuses. The ACLU warned that if this unlawful order was not rescinded, a public letter was about to be sent, outlining numerous details pertaining to violations of our civil rights.”
He added, “Amazingly, within hours of this communication to Malaguti, the unlawful criminal trespass orders were withdrawn and our freedoms were restored. I was finally able to return items to the library that had been outstanding for almost 100-days and pay my late fines, due to the unlawful and reckless actions of Malaguti.”
Later in the meeting, Malaguti made a brief statement about the Trespass Order saying, “I made the decision I believed to be in the town’s best interests, which is my primary and most important responsibility, when making any decision in my role as Town Manager.”
He added, “I do not plan to elaborate on my reasoning any further. I acknowledge that people want to know more about this matter; it is not a question of me of not wanting to, or being afraid to address it. In fact, it would be easier if I could. However, there are some topics that are simply not appropriate for the Town Manager to discuss at a Town Council meeting.”
Town Council Chairman, John Farrell, added, “This is not a Town Council matter and it is not something we are going to engage in.”