Rockport officials continue meetings about employee complaint

By Tom Groening, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 23, 2013, at 5:49 p.m.

ROCKPORT, Maine — Town officials continued this week to struggle with their response to a written complaint made by town employees against another employee. Few details have emerged, but select board members have held several closed-door meetings and plan more such sessions next week.

On Tuesday night, an investigator who works for the law firm that represents the town reported her findings to the board in a closed meeting that lasted half an hour. The investigator, Melissa Hewey, then joined the board in a second closed session, lasting nearly an hour, which also included Town Manager Bob Peabody.

Board chairman Bill Chapman was unable to offer information about the investigation and closed-door meetings, citing laws that protect the confidentiality of public employees.

“We will undoubtedly have another [executive session],” Chapman said after the board adjourned for the night on Tuesday. Peabody was unavailable for comment, having left the meeting room by a side door.

Hewey, an attorney who works for Drummond Woodsum, was hired earlier this month to interview all town employees who work in the town office as part of her investigation into the complaint. Chapman, in an email obtained by the BDN through public access laws, had urged employees “to cooperate fully” with the investigation, which he characterized in another email as “a formal grievance complaint.”

Chapman would not comment on Peabody’s presence at the second closed-door meeting.

After Tuesday night’s meetings, Hewey said she has not provided the board with a written report about the results of her investigation. Her findings were explained orally, she said.

Hewey would not reveal how many employees she interviewed.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/01/23/news/midcoast/rockport-officials-continue-meetings-about-employee-complaint/ printed on July 28, 2014