TOWNSEND — The Board of Selectmen met with the fire chief in executive session regarding two matters — a complaint against a public official, and personnel negotiations.
The session took place during the board’s Jan. 30 meeting, and followed a session held the previous week, also for negotiations.
Two issues have been raised with Fire Chief William Donahue over the last year.
One is his residence — Donahue’s contract required that he move within a 15-mile radius of the town within 180 days. A West Newbury resident at the time, Donahue placed his house on the market. When he was unable to sell his home, the selectmen issued an extended deadline that gave Donahue until Oct. 7 to meet his contract obligation, which is also a state mandate.
Donahue reportedly met the deadline when he rented a unit in town, but selectmen questioned whether his intent was to stay, since his family did not relocate with him.
Selectmen, after requesting several documents from Donahue proving his residency, decided to review whether the chief’s action met the contract requirements.
Another problem arose for Donahue when resident Carolyn Smart filed a complaint against the chief and Lt. Michael Grimley, who heads the recruit training program, concerning training held at the department’s Elm Street headquarters on Nov. 30.
Smart questioned whether the department followed proper procedures when it burned a vehicle during the training, as well as burning a barrel that contained diesel fuel.
Donahue was asked to comment Jan. 31 on the executive sessions, but said he could not respond.
Selectmen Vice Chairman Maureen Denig said she was also unable to comment until the executive session minutes are released.