I don’t normally post on the weekend, but this seems like one you should know about.
The Metrowest Daily News has uncovered details about an internal investigation launched by Southborough selectmen against a collection of town employees. My own investigation (limited as it has been) backs up the MWDN story.
The investigation stems from a gathering of town employees at Pizzeria Uno in Westborough after the special town meeting last September. Reportedly Town Administrator Jean Kitchen, Assistant Town Administrator Vanessa Hale, Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan, then-Town Planner Vera Kolias, Town Accountant Carla McAuliffe, Fire Chief John Mauro, Town Recreation Director Doreen Ferguson, Town Finance Director Brian Ballantine, and then-Assistant Town Clerk Dawn Michanowicz all were there.
Sources told me Selectman Bill Boland later showed up.
The allegation is that disparaging remarks were made against Police Chief Jane Moran at that gathering. One of the town employees who was there reportedly told selectmen about the remarks. Selectman Sal Giorlandino called an emergency executive session in October to discuss the matter with the town employees who were at Uno’s that night.
According to the Metrowest Daily News article:
“We were told by Sal (Giorlandino) that disciplinary action was being considered,” the employee said in an interview conducted on Wednesday. “Sal asked us if we heard any disparaging statements made about Moran while we were unwinding at Pizzeria Unos following the special Town Meeting on Sept. 29.
“We gave him a resounding ‘No.”‘
The source went on to say that the person who reported the remarks “couldn’t even remember exactly what was said or who said it … only that it had something to do with Jane Moran, the Special Town Meeting, and the new police car voters decided in favor of.”
Giorlandino did not return calls from the MWDN. Nor did Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf. Selectman Bill Boland said he couldn’t comment on issues discussed at the executive session. The MWDN reporter said Chief Moran hung up on him when asked to comment.
It’s not known what this is costing the town. The investigation has reportedly been ongoing since October. One town employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity told me they were interviewed by town attorneys for at least three hours. Another said they had spent countless hours responding to requests related to the matter.
The MWDN article says the selectmen have hired three lawyers as part of the investigation – town counsel Aldo Cipriano, special counsel Barry Bacharach, and Hingham attorney and Hull town counsel James Lampke.
You can read all the details in the MWDN.