As one of the two individuals who filed the complaint with the State Ethics Commission regarding the payment of $30,000 to a member of the School Committee, I cannot let some of Willie Wickman’s statements in her recent letter to the editor go unanswered.
The issue is not that a complaint was filed with the State Ethics Commission. It’s with the actions and inactions of the School Committee.
As a courtesy, the chairman of the Board of Selectmen and I met with Mrs. Wickman prior to filing the complaint.
My recollection of that meeting differs from that of Mrs. Wickman. She didn’t seek additional time to investigate the facts contained in our complaint, since she said she had already looked into the matter. Although she asked for a delay, there was no reason given.
Before sending the letter, I spoke with a representative of the Ethics Commission and was assured that, although we were the chairmen of the Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen, our letter would be treated as one from us as individuals.
It was important that any complaint not be from the Finance Committee because it would have had to be discussed in a public session. This would have further publicized the issue and been unfair to those involved.
All of this was thoroughly reviewed with the Ethics Commission. Ironically, they commented that we should not have informed the School Committee chairman.
It’s time certain School Committee members stop “shooting the messenger” and focus their efforts on resolving the current problems facing the committee and the schools.