Closed-door Rockport talks continue on legal matter

Posted Jan. 28, 2013, at 10:05 p.m.

ROCKPORT, Maine — The chairman of the Rockport Select Board had little to say publicly Monday night after board members adjourned following a more than three-hour closed-door meeting on a personnel matter that has kept them busy for the past few weeks.

“We’re continuing the march,” William Chapman said.

The board has yet to identify the employee or reveal the nature of the complaint.

The Rockport Select Board talked with attorney William Plouffe of Portland on a telephone conference call, Chapman said.

The series of closed-door meetings by the Select Board followed a complaint being filed with Chapman by two department heads. Attorney John Richardson of Brunswick, who represents the employees who filed the complaint, said he had no comment after Monday night’s meeting.

Investigator Melissa Hewey was hired by the town to look into the complaints. She interviewed town employees earlier this month. She is employed by the firm Drummond Woodsum of Portland, the same as Plouffe.

Town Manager Robert Peabody — who is the town’s personnel director — did not attend Monday’s closed-door meeting with the town’s lawyer. Chapman said Peabody took a vacation day Monday and he did not expect him at a meeting scheduled for Tuesday night at which the Camden and Rockport boards plan to meet to discuss issues of common concern.

When asked whether Robert Peabody was still the town manager, Chapman said, “Officially, I guess he is still the manager.” He later said Peabody would remain the manager until he was not the manager.

A telephone message was left at Peabody’s home after Monday night’s meeting. The call was not immediately returned.

Chapman said he did not know when the board would meet again to discuss the matter.

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