Hudson issues continue to simmer
YLJ FILE PHOTO/JAMES PARRY
The Pine Lake dossier is still an active file for Hudson, for property owners and at the municipal level.
While Hudson elected officials recently confirmed a municipal employee had been suspended for a two-week period pending an internal investigation, they declined to reveal any more details citing confidentiality.
“It’s an administrative issue,” said Mayor Ed Prévost reached after the January 11 council meeting, referring all queries to Director General Jean-Pierre Roy.
“I can’t confirm or deny the information,” said Roy of the issue that was simply referred to an ‘Employee matter’ on the monthly meeting agenda . “I have a resolution of confidentiality and restricted confirmation of any information concerning this suspension. This is for fair process of investigation.”
Roy did confirm that the employee’s paid suspension was launched because of complaints that were madeand said steps are currently being taken to ensure questions in the investigation will be asked by a team containing both a male and female member – himself and another member, still to be determined. When asked why it was important to have investigators of both genders, Roy said, “Sometimes people prefer to talk with a woman rather than a man.” Roy said that while the consequences of the investigation, if any, would likely be made public, the findings themselves would remain confidential.
“The inquiry will be fair and will contain a report with the details and the municipal council will make its decision at the end,” Roy said.
In response to mounting legal fees incurred at town coffers, Prévost said the town had no choice but to defend itself in response to ongoing litigation, including that from Pine Lake adjoining property owner Cynthia Maher who recently launched a $200,000 lawsuit citing property damages and loss of property value.
“When people dig in their heels and say they’ll sue, what can we do?”
Prévost said council is currently looking at the Maher case with the town’s insurance company to ascertain what her rights, as a property owner, are. Maher originally sought legal advice in the matter in July, 2014, engaging noted human rights lawyer Julius Grey in an effort to force the town’s administration to commit to a course of action in addressing the broken dam that saw the lake drain earlier in the year.
Roy confirmed the suit was presented in December, 2015, and said a research committee had been implemented to find a definitive solution to the Pine Lake problem and was expected to deliver its findings internally January 13 and will be made public in the near future.