Alleged town hall sex scandal sparks heated discussion at selectmen meeting

Alleged town hall sex scandal sparks heated discussion at selectmen meeting

ROCKLAND, Mass. — Fireworks erupted at the Board of Selectmen meeting in Rockland on Tuesday night.

Chairman Edward Kimball and members Larry Ryan, Michael Mullen and Michael O'Loughlin were present.

Kimball started the meeting by stating rumors swirling that he plans to resign are not true.

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Kimball then made a motion to turn all evidence of the alleged town hall sex scandal over to Rockland Police to investigate. Kimball said he had "no confidence" in the investigation launched by Town Counsel John Clifford. After an intense debate the board voted to take Kimball's motion under advisement.

Kimball said he was upset Clifford did not turn surveillance videos from the night in question over to the media on Friday.

Following the heated discussion about the alleged sex scandal, Ryan got up and said he was going home. Kimball replied, "I hope he took his ball with him."

The board asked the Acting Town Administrator, Rockland Police Chief John Llewellyn, to add restructuring the board to the agenda for the next selectmen's meeting.


MAY 16
Board of Selectmen Vice-Chair Deidre Hall alleges Town Administrator Allan Chiocca behaved inappropriately toward her in the early morning hours at Town Hall. Sources told Boston 25 News the allegations were sexual in nature.

MAY 23
Boston 25 News was the first to report details of the alleged sex scandal at Rockland Town Hall.

MAY 29
In an executive session, the Board of Selectmen voted to hire an outside investigator that specializes in discrimination and harassment complaints.
Chiocca was placed on paid leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Hall announced she is taking a voluntary leave of absence effect June 6. She said she plans to return after the investigation is complete. 
The Board of Selectmen votes the town's police chief will also serve as the acting town administrator while the investigation continues.

Boston 25 News submitted a public records request to the Town of Rockland for surveillance video from the night in question.

Hall's attorney, Brian Hughes, filed a temporary emergency restraining order to prevent the release of the surveillance footage at Rockland Town Hall. A hearing for the motion was set to take place June 15 at Brockton Superior Court, but Hughes withdrew the request for an injunction beforehand. In the motion, Hughes claimed the release of the video would compromise the investigation. He added the release of the footage would also cause "irreparable harm and injury to [Hall] and her family through continued embarrassment, humiliation, depression, fear, intimidation, and harassment from the public." Hughes said Hall has no recollection of the alleged incident "as a result of impairment."

Chiocca's attorney, Adam Shafran, released a statement saying Chiocca, "welcomes the release of the video and any suggestion or innuendo that he tampered with the videotape in any way is patently false."

Clifford said in a statement the board plans to release the video, but now must investigate claims made by Hughes in the motion that the video was tampered with. He added the town plans to hire an independent technical expert to review the recordings and determine whether they were altered. 
Hall and Chiocca have offered different accounts of what was captured by town hall surveillance cameras. Each claim the footage shows them trying to leave.