Suit dismissal sought



BAR HARBOR — Eight months after resident and attorney Arthur Grief filed a Superior Court complaint claiming two town councilors improperly directed town employees, the town is asking the court to dismiss it.

The suit was filed in February, challenging a January Town Council decision that Greif’s allegation of misconduct by Councilors Paul Paradis and David Bowden did not warrant additional review. Greif claimed that the council violated the town charter by failing to hold a public hearing on his complaint.

“The plaintiff is seeking investigation into actions that occurred during council terms that have since ended,” attorneys Ed Bearor and Katie Foster of Rudman Winchell wrote in their Oct. 18 motion to dismiss.

They argue that the passage of time has rendered the complaint moot, since Bowden did not seek re-election and no longer serves on the council, and Paradis was re-elected in June by the voters for another term.

Even if Paradis had forfeited his office as sought by the complaint, they said, nothing in the town charter would prohibit him from seeking re-election or being re-elected.

“The law court has held that when an individual is no longer a member of the Town Council, any decision by the council to reprimand the individual or a determination that the council erred in not reprimanding the individual, no longer has any practical effect and is moot,” they wrote.

Greif’s claim does not meet any of the established exceptions to that rule, they said, such as significant “collateral consequences.”

The allegations stem from a meeting Code Enforcement Officer Angela Chamberlain said she attended at Paradis’ home in 2013 with Paradis and Bowden. At issue is whether the councilors “gave orders” to Chamberlain to watch for improper use of town time and equipment by then-Town Assessor Marc Perry.

Under the charter, the council and its members only have authority over town employees through the town manager.

 

 

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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