Town selectmen, town attorney stay mum on Bourgeois firing

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Jeremy Bourgeois (Facebook photo)

MILTON - Milton selectmen, the lawyer representing the town and the former interim town administrator fired by selectmen last week all stayed mum on Wednesday regarding his abrupt departure, with one selectman even refusing comment on when notice of the meeting at which Jeremy Bourgeois' employ was terminated was posted.

"I'm not going to give you that," said Selectman Mike Beaulieu on Wednesday when asked by The Lebanon Voice when what should have been a public meeting was posted so residents could attend.

Personnel decisions such as promotions or terminations are normally carried out in executive session, but that is after a public meeting is called. Then when executive session is over officials must return to public meeting and provide the media and others there with any decisions that might have been made while in executive session.

Selectmen Chairman Tom Gray, whom The Lebanon Voice has learned applied for the permanent town administrator position after former town administrator Liz Dionne abruptly resigned in February, did not return phone messages or emails, and Selectman Andy Rawson, who said on Tuesday "Selectmen did the right thing for the taxpayers of Milton," by firing Bourgeois, did not return a phone call as promised on Wednesday.

Bourgeois, whose departure was reported on Friday, was terminated from his employ during a telephone conference call between selectmen on May 18, The Lebanon Voice has learned.

The Lebanon Voice also obtained a copy of the termination letter signed by Beaulieu and Rawson with no record of Selectmen Chair Tom Gray either voting or recusing himself.

Meanwhile, town activist Les Elder has submitted a Right to Know request to Town Hall to obtain all minutes regarding the Town Administrator Hiring Panel from April 21 through May 10 as well as all selectmen's minutes and other electronic communications regarding Bourgeois' termination.

He also wants to know how the town administrator search committee was established.

The search committee comprises Town Clerk Michelle Beauchamp, Milton Police Chief Richard Krauss, Nute High/Middle School Principal Scott Currier and budget committee member Maureen Steer.

Minutes from the committee's April 21 meeting shows the administrator's projected salary is between $60,000 and $70,000.

"People don't know the story, when they do I'll get an apology," Rawson said on Tuesday.

He said Beaulieu called the meeting at which Bourgeois' employment with the town was terminated, but he wouldn't confirm whether that meeting was by telephone conference call or a meeting at Town Hall.

Town counsel James N. Sessler of Franklin was reportedly at Town Offices on Tuesday to discuss the matter with officials. He sent an email to The Lebanon Voice today saying he could not comment.

Elder, meanwhile, contends the proper notice of the May 18 meeting at which Bourgeois was fired was never made and that the marquee board outside the Emma Ramsey Center didn't announce the meeting till after it was over, in fact not until Thursday, the next day, he said.

Elder's Right to Know requests were filed May 20, and by law selectmen have to let him know whether or not they will grant his request by Friday.

Bourgeois, who formerly worked as a town administrator in New Durham, has also refused comment to The Lebanon Voice.

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