June 23, 2018
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Rockport board approves deal with employee on leave

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKPORT, Maine — Selectmen approved a deal Tuesday night with an employee on administrative leave but say they will not release the agreement until the other party signs it.

The deal is expected to be released Friday, said William Chapman, the chairman of the Rockport Selectboard. He had earlier in the day said Thursday but later said that the document should be ready for his signature on Friday.

While the board would not identify the employee, Rockport Town Manager Robert Peabody has been on paid leave since Jan. 29.

Peabody went on leave following a more than three-hour closed-door meeting of selectmen the previous night. Selectmen have not commented on what their series of closed-door meetings have been about other than to say they involved a personnel matter. Chapman said Wednesday that the person discussed during Tuesday night’s meeting was the same as the person discussed at the Jan. 28 meeting.

Chapman said the board met Tuesday night to review a draft proposal from the employee, make some minor changes to it and await the signing by that unnamed party. They voted to authorize Chapman to sign it once the other party signed it.

The meetings by the board during the past two months started after two town department heads filed a complaint with Chapman. The department heads hired Attorney John Richardson of Brunswick.

Town Clerk Linda Greenlaw has been interim town manager, per the town charter, since Peabody went on leave.

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.

Investigator Melissa Hewey of the law firm Drummond Woodsum of Portland was hired by the town to look into the complaint and interviewed town employees earlier this month.

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