BAR HARBOR — Any town resident has standing to bring a complaint of misconduct by town officials, resident and attorney Arthur Greif argued in a brief sent to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in a pending appeal.
In November, Superior Court Justice William Anderson denied the original complaint, filed by Greif in February 2016.
In January 2016, the Town Council received a letter from Greif and his wife, Donna Karlson, alleging misconduct by Councilors Paul Paradis and now-former Councilor David Bowden. Greif and Karlson claimed the councilors “gave orders” to Code Enforcement Officer Angela Chamberlain in a secret 2013 meeting to monitor the activities of another town employee, former Assessor Marc Perry.
“Any citizen of Bar Harbor clearly has standing under a charter which he helped enact,” Greif wrote, defending his claim from town attorneys who said he had not alleged “specific injury.” He cited cases in which users of a state park and people exposed to emissions from a paper company were found to have standing in legal challenges.
He repeated arguments made in earlier filings that the council necessarily reviewed and made a decision about his complaint, by deciding in executive session that the allegations “do not warrant further review or consideration.”
Justice Anderson wrote in the November decision that Greif’s Freedom of Information Act argument may have merit, but suggested that complaint be brought as a separate action.
Greif also argues that the appeal is not moot because Paradis was re-elected in November for another term.
“It is unclear from the record whether the voters had any inkling of his potential misconduct in office,” he wrote.