- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 12, 2019

BOSTON (AP) - A federal appeals court has reversed a lower court jury’s decision to award more than $1.5 million in damages to a rejected candidate for Fitchburg’s police chief.

The court ruled Monday that then-Mayor Lisa Wong did not defame nominee Scott Heagney when she removed his name from consideration and spoke about her decision to local news publications.

1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David Barron wrote in his ruling that Wong’s statement that Heagney was “not forthcoming” about past criminal charges, including an assault and battery allegation, was true.

Heagney argued during trial he was not required to disclose that information because he was acquitted.

Current Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale says the ruling is a “big win for the city.”

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