Selectmen Overturn Decision to Pursue Outside Investigator
Instead, Selectman Stephen Campbell has been directed to resolve any conflict with a sit-down conversation.
The Salem Board of Selectmen voted 5-0 to overturn its decision to hire an outside party to investigate Selectman Stephen Campbell’s interactions with town.
Instead, the board directed Campbell to resolve any conflict with town personnel through a sit-down conversation.
Concerns surrounding Selectman Stephen Campbell’s interactions with members of town staff, specifically those during a particular incident with Human Resources Director Molly McKean, were raised at the board’s Feb. 11 meeting.
In a memo to Town Manager Keith Hickey, McKean describes an interaction she had with Campbell and alleges Campbell’s demeanor was “aggressive and intimidating.”
McKean told the council she has fielded complaints from at least three other town employees that Campbell “has been aggressive or hostile to them.”
The board agreed at their previous meeting to pursue hiring an outside party to investigate Campbell’s interactions with town staff.
But Chair Patrick Hargreaves said hiring an outside party to complete the investigation would have cost the town around $20,000.
“We think there’s a better way to spend $20,000 and the people bringing this to me want to do that [have the conversation with Campbell,]” he said at the board’s Monday evening meeting.
In a written statement Hargreaves read out loud at the meeting, Campbell said he must “find a way to treat the people I am speaking with respectfully and not let my emotions overrule my judgment.”
Campbell additionally noted selectmen’s actions should show respect for those who voted them into the position, and that there’s an expectation of the people that the board will show respect to others despite their personal emotions.
Hargreaves said he and town staff will present the board with a complete report detailing the results of the conversation between Campbell and personnel. The board is to receive that information by March 11.