Rockport Fire Department and Chief Doyle

For Immediate Release

June 21, 2021

Rockport Board of Selectmen Chairperson Ruth George’s statement from June 18, 2021, was completely as expected. The Selectmen decided to make a statement about Chief Doyle’s lawsuit, a few days before election day (where she and the only other Selectmen to share the statement publicly on social media, Sarah Wilkinson, are on the ballot), but it said nothing about the actual substance of Chief Doyle’s lawsuit. Instead, in an effort to continue misleading the public, she stated the following:

[I]t appears that this is a rehash of various claims that have been raised previously. For instance, this new court complaint raises allegations of open meeting law and public records law violations, which have already been rejected by the state Supervisor of Records or which were dismissed by the Attorney General’s office due to Attorney O’Connell’s failure to pursue them.

Chief Doyle’s complaint is anything but a rehash of the MacLeod, et al. v. Rockport case, which is a ‘ten-taxpayer’ suit filed under Massachusetts Law to enjoin the Town from continuing to illegally spend the Town’s money on various illegal positions the Selectmen created. The MacLeod lawsuit was filed before Chief Doyle was terminated.

Chief Doyle’s suit has 19 counts for relief, against various Town Officials and a private citizen; for wrongful termination, violations of constitutional rights, defamation, intentional inflection of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy. Not one of these prayers for relief pertains to Public Records Law or Open Meeting Law violations, but Chairperson George’s statement in response to the filing of the Complaint focuses solely on this and this alone. Her statement is unsurprising, as it was intentionally designed to mislead anyone who had not yet read or heard about Chief Doyle’s lawsuit.

Chairperson George’s statement deceptively infers that the Town’s violations of the Massachusetts Public Records and Open Meeting Laws have been “rejected” or closed-out by the state agencies that have administrative oversight. This was done in an attempt to discredit the substance of the Complaint, which she doesn’t mention. None of the complaints submitted for violations of Public Records or Open Meeting Laws were ever ruled on by any state agency.

As the Chairperson should know, allegations of violations of the Public Records and Open Meeting Laws do not need to be sorted out by State agencies, as the Superior Court also maintains jurisdiction to resolve these disputes. Considering Town Counsel’s ex parte communications and unlawful disclosure of Chief Doyle’s confidential information during the administrative process, (something else Chairperson George chose not to respond to within her statement), the Superior Court is certainly the best and most efficient venue to handle these matters.

The MacLeod case was amended today, in order to remove Mr. Craig Morrill as a Plaintiff (as he is seeking election to the Board of Selectmen), and to add the following four counts:

  • Violations of Massachusetts Public Records Law pursuant to G.L. c. 66, § 10A(c);
  • Violations of Massachusetts Open Meeting Law pursuant to G.L. c. 30A, § 23;
  • Enjoin the illegal paying of Town Admin. Vieira, or whoever, as Human Resources Director as the Personnel Board was illegally disbanded pursuant to G.L. c. 44, § 59; and
  • Declaratory Judgment on the illegal disbanding of the Personnel Board pursuant to G.L. c. 231A.

Click here for copy of the First Amended Complaint in the MacLeod case.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts will hash out the matters relating to the concerted actions by certain Town Officials to wrongfully terminate him, defame him, and intentionally inflict emotional distress on him.

Click here for copy of Chief Doyle’s Complaint.

Download this Press Release.

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