October 21, 2021

Selectmen: No OML Violation in Police Chief Hire

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The Seekonk Board of Selectmen say there was no violation of the state’s Open Meeting Law regarding their discussions of the appointment of Dean Isabella as Police Chief. Doreen Taylor, a former selectwoman, filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s office on June 11.

Taylor wrote “an inventory of Executive Session minutes obtained through the Secretary of State’s office has not proven a proper discussion in a meeting had taken place relative to the character and integrity of a candidate for the position of Police Chief.” Taylor noted the process to hire Isabella had been “compromised either by the hiring consultant, Town Administrator and/or the Chairman of the Board who sets all the agendas. Please know the Town of Seekonk paid $11,900 in services to hire a Fire and Police Chief. The integrity of the process is in question as well as the comments by the Town Administrator in public.”

Selectmen Chairman Justin Sullivan explained the process was transparent. “It should be noted that the August 27, 2020 meeting that Miss Taylor appears to take issue with took place approximately two months after the Town Administrator (Shawn Cadime) had already made his Police Chief recommendation to the Board of Selectmen and the board had voted to extend a conditional offer of employment to Chief Isabella,” Sullivan said Wednesday.

Isabella was appointed to the position at a June 2020 meeting. “The August 27 executive session with Chief Isabella was to negotiate an employment contract with him as permitted by General Law,” Sullivan added.

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