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Southampton administrator files complaint against Highway Superintendent, Select Board member Cauley over his behavior

SOUTHAMPTON — A complaint by the interim town administrator against an elected official and town employee is expected to be discussed privately at a Select Board meeting Tuesday night.

Interim Town Administrator Regina Shea-Sullivan said she has lodged a complaint against Highway Superintendent and Select Board Vice Chairman Edward J. Cauley related to his treatment of her in the workplace. She declined to elaborate.

It is expected to be discussed in executive session at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Cauley said he is discussing the issue with his lawyer at Parker & O’Grady law firm in Southampton and has not decided if he will exercise his right to have the complaint discussed in public instead of in executive session.

“I’ve seen the complaint and we’ll deal with it Tuesday night,” he said Monday. He declined to comment on the nature of the complaint except to say he did not expect the issue would be put to rest Tuesday night.

The state’s Open Meeting Law allows boards to meet in executive session to discuss complaints against town employees, as long as the subject of the complaint is invited to be present.

Shea-Sullivan has been serving as interim town administrator since Diana Schindler left the post for a new job in July 2011. She applied for the permanent position earlier this year but was not a finalist in the failed search.

Cauley has been Highway Superintendent since 1984 and was elected to the Select Board in May 2012. He plans to retire as highway superintendent on Dec. 17.

In August, the board chastised town employees for not getting along and voted to take no action on a complaint from Town Accountant Vicki Leigh Moro alleging that Police Chief David Silvernail yelled at her on several occasions when she requested documentation to increase the pay for officers.

The board has scheduled a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15 for department heads, board and committee members to discuss communication issues.

Also Tuesday, the board is scheduled to enter executive session to discuss a property on Fomer Road that town officials are concerned is a site of illegal dumping and needs to be cleaned. Property owner Richard Youmell told the board Sept. 24 that he is making an effort to take vehicles and other equipment off his property at the request of Building Inspector Richard Oleksak and the Board of Health, but he needs additional time.

The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting states that the executive session is being held under the Open Meeting Law exemption that allows for private discussion of strategy regarding litigation, investigation of criminal misconduct or the possibility of filing criminal complaints.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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