ROCKPORT, Maine — Town Manager Robert Peabody is on paid leave and the town clerk is serving in the role on an interim basis.
William Chapman, chairman of the Rockport Select Board, said Tuesday morning that Peabody began his leave Tuesday morning. He would not say why Peabody is on leave or for how long, but the announcement came the morning after the board held a more than three-hour closed-door meeting on a legal matter involving personnel.
“We’re continuing the march,” Chapman said after the Monday night meeting. He would not confirm or deny that the personnel issue involved Peabody.
The town charter stipulates that the town clerk — currently Linda Greenlaw — becomes interim town manager in the absence of the manager.
Peabody has been the town’s manager for eight years. He is in the middle of a contract that runs through June 30, 2014, with a salary this year of $92,706.
Chapman said that during the executive session Monday, the Select Board talked with attorney William Plouffe of Portland on a telephone conference call.
The series of closed-door meetings by the board during the past month started after two town department heads filed a complaint with Chapman. 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, who was hired by the town to look into the complaint, interviewed town employees earlier this month. Hewey and Plouffe both are employed by the firm Drummond Woodsum of Portland.
Peabody — who is the town’s personnel director — did not attend Monday’s closed-door meeting with the town’s lawyer. Chapman said that night that Peabody had taken a vacation day Monday.
A telephone message left by the BDN at Peabody’s home after Monday night’s meeting has not been returned.
Peabody is a Rockland resident who had served three three-year terms on the Rockland City Council including three one-year terms as its mayor.