STOCKBRIDGE -- The Select Board has approved $83,600 in back pay and benefits to Scott M. Muir, the former town employee who was acquitted last month of charges he sexually assaulted of young girls at two local schools, where he worked as a counselor.
Muir, 39, of Church Street, had been the Stockbridge emergency management director and facilities manager at the Town Offices before he was indefinitely suspended on May 19, 2012, following his arrest and arraignment on the allegations. He was employed by the Berkshire Hills Regional School District as a student center support coordinator between 2002 and 2007.
Muir intends to seek a return to those jobs, said his attorney, William A. Rota, of Pittsfield.
"Our position is that he is entitled to his jobs and he wants things there to go back to the way they were before he was arrested," he said.
Muir was acquitted by a Berkshire Superior Court jury on Jan. 28 of all 19 charges. He and his employer, the Berkshire Hills Regional School District still face a civil suit for alleged sexual harassment filed by five students at Stockbridge Plain and Muddy Brook Elementary schools.
Rota cited a section of Massachusetts General Laws stating that if an employee is found not guilty of criminal charges, "his suspension will be removed" and he is entitled to back pay and benefits.
Asked whether he has made a formal request to the town on Muir's behalf, Rota said he is in discussions with Town Counsel J.
The back pay, transferred from the town's reserve fund, covers the period from May 19, 2012, when Muir was suspended, through last Thursday, said Select Board Chairman Stephen Shatz. At its Monday meeting, the Select Board made a public announcement on the award of the compensation, as previously approved by the town's Finance Committee.
Shatz said his understanding is that Muir intends to seek reinstatement to his two positions, based on informal inquiry that has been received. Both jobs were at-will positions, not contractual nor Civil Service.
The positions are being filled by Christopher Marsden, a volunteer firefighter, through an interim appointment.
Muir had been a Fire Department EMT but is not currently participating in the department, according to Shatz, an attorney who retired from his practice in Springfield on Dec. 31 after 46 years.
"If he requests his old jobs," Shatz told The Eagle, "we will discuss it and make a decision. We will do what we are required to do, and we won't let this go on for an extended period of time. That would not be fair to him, nor to the town."
"We will act expeditiously," he declared, "and we hope to do it the right way and a way that is appropriate."
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