If you’re thoroughly sick of hearing about the Pizzeria Uno investigation — and I know many of you are — I suggest you read no further. But for those of you who have wondered why the town didn’t try a path like mediation before launching the 7-month investigation that cost taxpayers at least $13K in legal bills, the Metrowest Daily News has the answer.
Administrators caught up in the Board of Selectmen’s seven-month investigation of town employees say they tried to meet privately with Police Chief Jane Moran to ease tensions, but they were rebuffed.
The article goes on to quote a letter written by Town Administrator Jean Kitchen and Assistant Town Administrator Vanessa Hale.
“Shortly after the Oct. 22 meeting, the employees, working through Selectman (Bill) Boland, offered either individually or as a group to have a mediation session with Chief Moran to resolve any differences,” says the letter signed by Kitchen and Hale. “We were later told that Chief Moran would not agree to this.”
Moran said yesterday she did not want to discuss the dispute.
At Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf said there have been “efforts on both sides” to move past the dispute since the investigation concluded in May with no disciplinary action being taken against any of the employees. “Some have apologized to the police chief,” she said.
But the town is still wrangling over whether to reimburse four town employees for the $14K in legal bills they incurred during the investigation.
Selectmen have also pledged to release the minutes from the October 22 executive session during which employees were first informed of the investigation. At that meeting, Kitchen and Hale allege then chairman of the board Sal Giorlandino took a “demeaning and accusatory” tone toward employees.
Giorlandino refuted the allegations this week and defended the internal investigation.
Selectman John Rooney, who has been pushing for the release of the October 22 executive session minutes, says releasing them will help the town move past this incident. “We need to get these out there,” he said. “It’s part of closing that final chapter.”