• Investigation into alleged town hall sex scandal completed

    By: Michael Saccone

    Updated:

    ROCKLAND, Mass. - The investigation into the alleged Rockland Town Hall sex scandal is complete and the findings could be released during next week’s Board of Selectmen meeting. 

    Town Administrator Allan Chiocca and Board of Selectmen Vice-Chair Deirdre Hall have accused each other of inappropriate behavior during an after-hours encounter in the evening of May 1, 2018 and early morning of May 2, 2018.

    Chiocca was placed on paid administrative leave and Hall took a voluntary leave of absence until the completion of the investigation. 

    According to the posted agenda, the board plans to discuss findings of the investigation done by Discrimination and Harassment Solutions, LLC. 

    Chiocca, Hall and Chairman of the Selectmen Ed Kimball are the three people named on the executive session agenda.

    The board plans “To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or to discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges brought a against, a public officer, employee, staff member of individual.”

    When the board reconvenes in open session, they plan to discuss the findings of the investigation. They’ll then vote to release a summary of the findings to the public. 

    “There are legal constraints in terms of some specific information that may be disclosed publicly, but I expect a candid discussion of the events of the last two months, to the degree permissible,” Town Counsel John Clifford told Boston 25 News. 

    In a statement to Boston 25 News, Chiocca’s attorney, Adam Shafran, said Chiocca is aware the investigation is complete and he fully supports releasing the investigator’s report. 

    “[Chiocca] has always supported a complete disclosure of all facts and hopes the Board votes to publicly release the investigator’s report next Tuesday,” said Shafran. 

    Shafran confirmed he and Chiocca are aware of the results, but said they will not comment on them until the board has an opportunity to vote on the report’s public disclosure.

    The board will vote to comply with outstanding public records requests and release surveillance video from the night in question. Boston 25 News submitted is among those requesting a copy of the video. The board will also vote to release an affidavit of Steven Verronneau, an independent consultant hired to analyze the surveillance video.  

    Discrimination and Harassment Solutions, LLC. hired Verronneau to review the surveillance video after Hall made claims the footage may have been altered or tampered with. 

    Last month, Hall’s attorney filed an emergency motion in Brockton Superior Court seeking to block the release of the surveillance video. Her attorney, Brian Hughes, said releasing the footage at the time would cause “irreparable harm and injury to [Hall] and her family through continued embarrassment, humiliation, depression, fear, intimidation, and harassment from the public.” They voluntarily dismissed the motion before a scheduled hearing. 

    The first item on the agenda, however, is Reorganization of the Board of Selectmen. 

    Tempers flared the Selectmen meeting on June 19th. Selectman Larry Ryan called for Chairman Edward Kimball to step down from his leadership role on the board.

    Kimball called an independent investigation conducted by Discrimination and Harassment Solutions, LLC. a “sham” and made a motion for the board to turn evidence over to Rockland Police. Kimball said turning evidence over to police would be the only way residents could get a “fair and equitable” look at the probe.

    The meeting starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Rockland High School Auditorium. The meeting’s change of venue is due to the expected attendance. 

    Boston 25 News also reached out to the Hall’s attorney for comment. 

    >> MORE FROM BOSTON 25 NEWS:

    Alleged town hall sex scandal sparks heated discussion at selectmen meeting

    Rockland town administrator placed on leave following alleged sex scandal

    2 Rockland town officials on leave following alleged sex scandal

    Suspended Rockland town accountant, I.T. director speaks out

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