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Harrietstown clerk now says settlement vote was in minutes

March 14, 2012
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer (cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - Town of Harrietstown Clerk Patricia Gillmett now says the town board's vote to authorize a settlement agreement with former town bookkeeper Brenda LaPierre was included in the official minutes of the board's Dec. 30 special meeting.

On Feb. 23, the Enterprise emailed Gillmett to ask her for a copy of the minutes of the Dec. 30 meeting. Gillmett provided a one-page document that indicated the board went into executive session to discuss proposed, pending or current litigation. It didn't list any action taken by the board after that executive session.

The Enterprise learned later that the board had voted, following the executive session, to authorize Supervisor Larry Miller to sign the settlement agreement with LaPierre, who had accused Miller of workplace sexual harassment. But that decision wasn't referenced in the minutes Gillmett had provided to the Enterprise.

On March 6, prior to publishing a story about the settlment, the Enterprise asked Gillmett if she was provided with anything indicating the board took any action after the executive session, which she was not invited to.

"No, I didn't get anything," Gillmett said.

On Wednesday, however, Gillmett told the newspaper that on Jan. 6, Miller had sent her an email that included minutes of the vote taken by the board to approve the settlement after the Dec. 30 executive session. She said she thought she had included this second page of minutes in her reply to the Enterprise's initial request for the minutes from the Dec. 30 meeting, but the Enterprise did not receive the second page.

She also said Wednesday that the post-executive session minutes of the settlement vote were included in the board's Jan. 12 vote to approve the Dec. 30 minutes, contrary to what the Enterprise had been verbally led to believe before.

Asked why she said she "didn't get anything" when the Enterprise asked if she had been provided anything indicating the board had taken action after the Dec. 30 executive session, Gillmett said she had been mistaken.

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Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.

 
 
 

 

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