Keyes files complaint against fellow board member, threatens litigation
Hopedale Select Board member Brian Keyes. Source: Dec. 12, 2022, Select Board meeting.
By Theresa Knapp
Select Board member Brian Keyes has filed a complaint against Select Board Chair Glenda Hazard regarding comments she made at the board’s Oct. 24 meeting about the resignation of former Town Administrator Diana Schindler.
The complaint alleges that Hazard said Keyes had created a "hostile work environment" for Schindler which led to her departure. Keyes said her comment “disparages my character and professional brand in the private sector” and he said he would be consulting a personal attorney “to evaluate my options of litigation against [Hazard] directly or against the Town of Hopedale/You as Madam Chair of the Select Board.”
The complaint was in the select board’s meeting packet under “Correspondence” which are not typically read aloud at selectmen’s meetings but are available on the select board’s webpage, but Keyes wanted it read aloud and discussed.
Hazard said, “I think that, because it threatens litigation, that it’s not a subject that should be discussed in open session.”
Keyes asked Attorney Tim Zessin, who was at the meeting, fo his opinion on the matter. Zessin said the complaint itself is part of the public record, is available online, and it is the Chair’s decision how to handle correspondence.
“If this is how it’s typically done then it’s her call,” said Zessin.
Keyes responded, “So I guess I just live with being censored on it. Okay. Well, more to come on that,” and urged residents to read the complaint and watch the video.
“You’re right, there is a threat of litigation because I’m very upset,” Keyes said. “I was completely over the line and I just thought the residents would like to know the reasons for the complaint and why I think that you stepped out of bounds.”
Hazard said Keyes’ complaint was clearly spelled out in his letter, adding, “I think me outlining why that was not a fabrication is not in the town’s best interest, or my best interest, or even your best interest, and so I’m not going to do that in a public session. And since we’re clearly not on the same side, it wouldn’t be fodder for an executive session either.”