DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Selectmen voted Monday to have the board’s administrative committee investigate allegations of misappropriation of funds against Town Manager Jack Clukey and board Chairman Elwood Edgerly.
Selectman Joyce Perry, who proposed the investigation had requested that five members of the former charter committee handle the matter. She opposed the move Monday to have the board’s committee do the investigation, suggesting a residents committee would have an unbiased opinion.
Perry presented the board last month with a packet of information that not only included the request for an investigation but also provided examples of more than $60,000 in payments made to Edgerly, who owns Edgerly Plumbing, for work done or parts purchased since September 2007. She also asked that the investigation examine the possibility of violations of the town’s conflict of interest policy and state law. She believes that some contracts awarded to Edgerly were never publicly solicited.
Edgerly has encouraged the investigation. “I think I’m being accused of breaking the law so I really feel that you need to get an opinion from the AG’s office, I’d like to clear it up,” he said Monday.
Resident Paul Matulis said he believed it was “wholly inappropriate” for a residents committee to investigate the allegations. Rather, he said, Perry’s charges should be presented to the district attorney, who would determine if crimes were committed or if the allegations were “a political slur” against the accused.
Former Selectman Dennis Lyford, who served on the board with Edgerly for nine years, said he recalled that Edgerly saved the town $26,000 on one project and had spent considerable time solving a property line problem with True Value so the business could expand.
As specified in the town’s fraud policy, all employees and officers have a duty to report concerns they have or information provided to them about the possible fraudulent or corrupt activity of an officer, Mrs. Donald Benjamin said Monday. “If things have come to her [Perry] that she feels she’s supposed to report, for goodness’ sake, let her do her duty, that’s all we ask of any of you.”
Asked by Selectman Cynthia Freeman-Cyr what sections of the fraud policy she believed were violated, Perry was not specific.
“What I believe to be true is that Elwood has disclosed his profession from day one and that we have the full knowledge that Elwood has been working on the project at Morton Ave. and other projects, that we have reviewed warrants biweekly and that we have approved them,” Freeman-Cyr said.
The selectmen voted 4-1 to have the board’s administrative panel investigate the allegations. Edgerly abstained from voting and Perry voted against the action.
Selectmen on Monday also remembered Jim Brown and Bob Pomeroy, two community members who drowned over the weekend at First Buttermilk Pond. A moment of silence was held in former Selectman Brown’s memory. It was noted that Pomeroy had served on the budget advisory committee.