Fired for Gossiping!
The four admittedly clashed with Jodoin for promoting the unnamed woman over the more experienced Skorupski. But no one disputes that they have fine work records and didn't start the rumor. They have strong local support, including a petition signed by more than 500 voters. Still, on May 23, the council rejected Skorupski and Drewniak's appeal and upheld the firings (the town had offered to reinstate Bonsteel and Piper, but with conditions the pair found unacceptably punitive). All four plan to sue.
The scandal broke in March after Jodoin told the council he'd suffered "physical symptoms of stress" over the rumors. In a May hearing, council lawyer Debra Weiss Ford called the alleged gossipers "insubordinate, dishonest and unsuitable," the only official comment so far. One thing is clear: If the town hoped to quiet wagging tongues, it failed. The affair has drawn Hooksett national publicity—and not in a good way. "They worried about a few hundred people knowing about this, and now millions know," Bonsteel says. "What have they accomplished?"