SHIRLEY -- Town Accountant Karen Barrett was working n March when she saw a man she didn't know walk past her second floor office in the closed Town Offices, presumably continuing on downstairs and out. She didn't speak to him but reported the incident to the Board of Selectmen.
The issue came up Monday night when the selectmen held an executive session to question the building maintenance manager, Patrice Fullhart, to determine if she let someone in that night or any other time.
Selectmen Chairman Enrico Cappucci, who spoke with the Nashoba Valley Voice Wednesday morning, said the basis for the executive session was to determine if Fullhart admitted unauthorized people after hours. The query also related to a separate incident in which she allegedly brought or allowed an electrician in to fix a wiring problem that had apparently not been reported to the selectmen.
Cappucci said he checked to see if a corresponding permit was issued for electrical work but found none, nor could he locate a bill for such services. "We were not told there was a problem," he said.
As for the stranger Barrett had seen, "we couldn't verify who it was," he said.
Which as he explained it, was the reason it took so long to look into the matter.
Barrett has now identified Bryan Dumont as the man she saw in the deserted town offices in March. Barrett told the board she spotted Dumont at an American Legion function and asked someone who he was.
Dumont vehemently denies it. "I was out plowing all day," he said Monday night.
According to Town Clerk Bill Oelfke, all town employees, plus committee chairmen, are issued key cards that unlock the building. The key cards are turned in when they leave office or the town's employ.
Dumont formerly held board positions from which he has resigned. His wife, Kendra Dumont, was a selectman for several years. She and another board member, Robert Prescott were ousted in last year's recall.
Monday night's executive session convened behind closed doors, but Fullhart asked to have the hearing held in public, so the board moved downstairs and continued in open session.
"I asked her (Fullhart) three times, 'did you allow Mr. Dumont in?'" Cappucci said. Her answer was no. "She said, 'no, I don't do that,'" Cappucci said.
During the meeting, Bryan Dumont appeared, denying he was the man Barrett saw, and said he was not in the building, Cappucci said.
Fullhart is on paid leave for the time being, Cappucci said and an investigation has been launched.
Interim Town Administrator Rocco Longo, town counsel, and Police Chief Samuel Santiago are investigating and will issue a report, after which the selectmen will hold a hearing, he said.
Dumont, reached by email Wednesday, said he had spoken his case at the meeting and had no further comment.