Nixonian cover-up

To the Editor:

The Islander, on Nov. 3, published an article discussing the attempt by the town to dismiss an appeal I filed with the Hancock County Superior Court involving Councilor Paul Paradis’s alleged misconduct in office.

I was curious that the Islander chose not to balance its report with a description of the memorandum I had filed with the court on Oct. 24, just four days after the town’s motion was filed and 10 days before the story.

I forwarded my memorandum on Nov. 4, and the Islander has made no attempt to tell the rest of the story to its readers in its next two issues.

Contrary to the story, the appeal does not fault the council for failing to hold a public hearing but for failing to hold any hearing. Sweeping aside these serious charges in a secret executive session that neither the two implicated councilors nor the two complainants were allowed to attend was a violation of the charter and the Freedom of Access Act.

The appeal asserts that two councilors violated the charter’s mandate that they not interfere with town employees, subject to a forfeiture of office if they do. The town now claims that the appeal is moot because Councilor David Bowden chose not to run for re-election and Paradis was re-elected and is now immune from any investigation of his alleged misconduct in a prior term.

The appeal is moot as to Bowden, the former councilor, but can never be moot as to Paradis as long as he sits on the council. The analogy to the Nixon impeachment I made to the court is precisely on point. Nixon’s re-election in 1972 did not insulate him from an impeachment inquiry in 1974 that was based on conduct occurring in his first term. To hold otherwise is to encourage cover-ups of misconduct.

The council cannot investigate a complaint about two councilors secretly meeting with a town employee by holding its own secret meeting and dismissing the complaint.

Art Greif

Bar Harbor

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