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Complaint Alleges Shirley Selectmen Violated State’s Open Meeting Law

July 21, 2018

SHIRLEY -- Former town volunteer and committee member Bryan Dumont has filed an Open Meeting Law complaint, alleging two selectmen met privately last month to conduct town business.

The two members, Enrico Cappucci and Debra Flagg, deny they did anything wrong.

Dumont alleges the pair met behind closed doors to draft a letter placing then-facilities manager Patrice Fullhart on administrative leave. The law requires that when a majority of the board meets to discuss town business, it must be posted as a public meeting.

Fullhart has since been fired.

Flagg said: “This thing never happened.”

She said the letter was composed by the town attorney at the board’s request. Administrative Assistant Melissa Marcucci re-typed the letter on official letterhead and sent it out, as requested. Flagg said she never saw the letter until it was sent out.

Shuffling through piles of papers at the Board of Selectmen meeting Monday night, Flagg read aloud excerpts from what she said was email correspondence between Dumont and Fullhart about the meeting.

Cappucci said Dumont has a right to file the complaint, though the allegation is unfounded.

Cappucci said Dumont is still upset that his wife, Kendra Dumont, and Bob Prescott were removed as selectmen in a recall election last year.

Cappucci later added: “It’s absurd to suggest that Mrs. Flagg and I would try to create a legal document.”

One resident, Janice Snow, said: “When will (town counsel) KP Law stop this bully and his harassment, (which is) costing the taxpayers thousands?”

From her seat, Maureen Parlon added: “She’s 100 percent right, enough is enough. We pay for these lawyers.”

Dumont, reached on Wednesday, declined comment on Snow’s statement.

In other business, selectmen discussed building access and security issues. Fullhart was dismissed after allegations she allowed Bryan Dumont into Town Hall during non-office hours. (Dumont said on Wednesday that he was not in Shirley that day and could not have been in Town Hall.)

Flagg said she found key cards issued in duplicate and others assigned to people whose names were unfamiliar to her.

Town Administrator Michael McGovern said he’s working with Police Chief Samuel Santiago to shore up the security system, a computer program housed in a single device in the building’s basement.

McGovern said he will soon be able to monitor security cameras from his office. More fixes, including tighter key-card criteria and crafting an official policy, will come without added cost, he told the board.

Flagg also suggested asking town and State Police to perform an electronic sweep of the building to ensure that no unauthorized surveillance devices have been installed.

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