Wayland resident Kim Reichelt has filed a second Open Meeting Law complaint against the Board of Selectmen.
The new complaint comes on the heels of her first complaint alleging selectmen broke the Open Meeting Law by providing a vague and unclear agenda item under which they terminated former town administrator Fred Turkington. Selectmen plan to respond to her first complaint during their Sept. 23 meeting.
Under the law, selectmen have 14 days from the filing date of any complaint to respond. If their response does not satisfy the complainant, the filer can submit the complaint with the Attorney General’s Office within 30 days of the filing date.
In the newest complaint, filed Sept. 18, Reichelt alleges Selectmen Chairman Doug Leard, along with Selectmen Ed Collins and Vice Chairman Tony Boschetto, violated the law by deliberating on whether to terminate Turkington prior to and outside of the Aug. 26 termination meeting. Under the Open Meeting Law, which is intended to keep municipal government business transparent and open to the public, public bodies are prohibited from deliberating items outside of a meeting.
Reichelt, in her newest complaint, said she had hoped to resolve the matter in the process of resolving her first complaint.
“But, your board has shown no willingness to engage the public and explain events,” Reichelt wrote, referring to the board's lack of response at its Sept. 16 meeting.
To bolster her case, Reichelt provided what she considers to be evidence that selectmen deliberated firing Turkington prior to the Aug. 26 meeting. She alleges Boschetto's typed termination motion indicates prior discussion among selectmen took place. She also said Leard seemed to acknowledge, in an email to Turkington about adding the agenda item to the Aug. 26 agenda, that he knew the true nature of the topic prior to the meeting. (For the full complaint, see the attached PDFs).
Reichelt, in her complaint, requested the selectmen admit they intentionally violated the law and for the Attorney General’s Office, which oversees the statute, to impose the maximum $1,000 penalty for the violation. She also requested Leard, Boschetto and Collins reimburse the town for costs associated with defending the town against the complaint. Reichelt has also requested the AG’s office order selectmen to follow the law in the future and require they attend a future Open Meeting Law training sessions.
The AG’s office, on Thursday, said they were aware of the second complaint and had granted selectmen until Sept. 27 to respond to the first complaint.
Selectman Joe Nolan on Thursday said he was aware of the complaint and hoped it will be addressed in open session at a future meeting.