Settlement in ethics dispute reached

By MIKE DONOGHUE

The feud that has consumed Shelburne government and has been talk of the community for the past 10 weeks is apparently over.

A tentative settlement has been reached in the dispute involving Shelburne Selectboard member Dr. Colleen Parker, Volunteer Fire Chief Jerry Ouimet and the Shelburne Ethics Committee.

The final agreement has to be reduced to writing and should be made public in the next day or so after all parties have reviewed and signed it.

Shelburne lawyer Ritchie Berger worked as a neutral mediator during the weekend and on Monday to resolve the ongoing dispute. The veteran lawyer offered his services for free in an effort to get the logjam cleared.

Lawyers Michael Regan for Dr. Parker and Pietro Lynn for Chief Ouimet said this afternoon they would limit their comments until the paperwork had been signed. Both said they did not want to jinx the mediated settlement.

The settlement is expected to close out three actions:

  • Ouimet filed an ethics complaint against Parker for questions she asked him at a Sept. 26 meeting that he says demeaned his honesty, integrity and expertise.
  • Parker filed a subsequent cross-complaint against Ouimet, maintaining the chief’s claim was baseless and defamed her.
  • Parker filed a civil lawsuit last Wednesday against the fire chief and the six members of the Ethics Committee, claiming the defendants had subjected her to extreme emotional distress.

Lynn and Regan said they believe all parties want to move forward and resume conducting business for the people of Shelburne.

The Shelburne News will have more information as it becomes available. Check back online and pick up this week’s print edition.

2 Responses to "Settlement in ethics dispute reached"

  1. Sean Moran   December 4, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Indeed glad to move on- but still shameful, in my opinion ( shared by many) a sitting select board member threatened to sue the Ethics Committee- in essence suing the town

    Reply
  2. Henry Lokada   December 5, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Sean, I agree with you. Colleen put herself before the good of the town. It saddens me. And Mike, who represented her, used NYC tactics (where he practices law) to abuse the system. Sad all the way around for Shelburne.

    Reply

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