Select Board Rebukes Member Pine
by Connie Sartini
At their meeting on Monday night, Select Board Chairman Barry Pease read a strong and pointed rebuke from the Board regarding comments made by Select Board member Becky Pine at their meeting on January 28, 2019.
He explained that during that meeting Pine wanted to expand the investigation of Town Manager Mark Haddad to include additional information based on “second hand reports” she had heard of “similar” issues.
Chairman Pease presented the following position of the Board
“On Monday, January 28, 2019, the Select Board held a regular meeting during which the Board discussed whether to initiate an investigation concerning allegations received against the Town Manager, Mark W. Haddad. The allegations were brought by an appointed member of the Fire Department Task Force Committee and concerned an incident occurring on January 7, 2019, during the course of a Committee meeting. During the Board’s discussion relative to whether to conduct an investigation, and following reminders of the Chairman, members of the Board were intentionally cautious in making comments to the complaint in hand, only, and focusing on whether to conduct an investigation and how to go about doing so.
Member Pine, however, made comments that the investigation should be expanded beyond the allegations advanced by the appointed member of the Committee based upon her having heard “rumors” or “second hand reports”, which can only be assumed to involve Mr. Haddad. Member Pine further commented that others who experienced similar behavior may have been silenced from coming forward in the past. Member Pine’s comments about expanding the scope of the investigation do not reflect the opinions or thoughts of the full Select Board. In making the comments that she made, Member Pine was speaking on her own behalf.
The Board neither supports nor endorses Member Pine’s comments in this regard. We disagree with them fully and completely. The comments Member Pine made as to the scope of the investigation were inappropriate, unfortunate, and unfair, and should not have been said. The Board would be ill advised to expand an investigation based upon unsubstantiated rumor(s) and/
or uncorroborated second-hand information and the Board will not being doing so in this matter. We will not be offering a further statement on this matter until such time as the investigation is complete and we have a report from the investigator setting forth the investigator’s findings and conclusions.
Select Board member Becky Pine acknowledged, “I didn’t handle it as well as I should have. I regret the use of my language and I regret that it made more work for my fellow board members.”