By Hiroko Sato
GROTON — Selectmen were scheduled to hold hearings last Friday morning after receiving four complaints regarding alleged nonappointments of some on-call firefighters.
The hearings were scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m., at Town Hall, behind closed doors. Should the subject or subjects of the complaints waive the right to be heard in an executive session, the hearings will be conducted in public, Selectmen Chairman Joshua Degen said Thursday.
Degen would not release the contents of the complaints or the names of those who filed the complaints, citing confidentiality in personnel matters. He has said, however, that four complaints were filed.
The complaints follow a series of controversies surrounding Fire Department personnel.
Earlier this year, selectmen received a complaint from a firefighter that his superiors harassed him after an unsuccessful discussion between them about a pay-structure change. After having an independent investigator look into the matter, the board concluded in May that the allegations could not be substantiated.
More recently, the board decided not to reappoint certain on-call firefighters. The board has said the decision stemmed from additional interviews that selectmen had Town Manager Mark Haddad conduct to follow up on the investigation.
“After the town manager’s interviews, and after reviewing overall department operation, (Fire) Chief (Joseph) Bosselait advised certain individuals that they would not be reappointed,” the board said in a press release issued June 23. “We respect Chief Bosselait’s decisions in this regard and are confident in stating that (these) decisions were motivated only by doing what he thought was in the best interests of the Fire Department.”
Firefighters are subject to annual appointment, according to the Board of Selectmen.