Norridgewock official fired for recording in Town Hall

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 03, 2012, at 10:03 a.m.

NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — The woman who collected payments for hunting and fishing licenses, sewer bills and other services at the Town Hall has been fired for making secret audio recordings of conversations in the building.

Town officials say 66-year-old Charlotte Curtis, who is an office clerk and also holds the separate elected positions of town clerk and treasurer, recorded conversations when she was not in the room.

Her Jan. 30 termination letter from Town Manager Michelle Flewelling says audio recording devices are not allowed because of confidentiality violations.

Flewelling declined to comment on the matter on Friday, saying, “I’m not at liberty to discuss it under the advice of legal counsel.”

She instead deferred questions to the town’s attorney, Philip Mohlar.

“The town felt it had to take the action that it did and we have to let that process play out,” said Mohlar, of Alsop and Mohlar in Skowhegan. “We can’t say too much about it at this point in time.”

Curtis told the Morning Sentinel newspaper in Waterville that she cannot discuss why she was recording conversations because she is fighting the termination and filing a grievance. She said she was not recording the public.

A message left with Curtis by the Bangor Daily News on Friday wasn’t immediately returned.

Flewelling said Curtis is running for a Board of Selectman position in the municipal elections in March. Curtis has not filed paperwork to run for town clerk or treasurer, said Flewelling.

Elected officials cannot be fired and there is no recall procedure for elected officials, said Flewelling. Her positions will expire after the March elections.

The town will be seeking a new office clerk.

“We will be advertising that position shortly to fill that,” said Flewelling.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/03/news/mid-maine/norridgewock-official-fired-for-recording-in-town-hall/ printed on July 24, 2014