Selectman files FOI complaint
BEACON FALLS — Selectman Christopher Bielik, a Democrat who is running for first selectman in November, has filed a complaint with the state Freedom of Information Commission against Republican First Selectman Gerard Smith.
The state FOI commission received the complaint Oct. 7, said Thomas Hennick, public education officer of the FOI commission. The complaint will be reviewed to make sure the commission has jurisdiction, he said.
The complaint accuses Smith and Selectman David D’Amico, a Republican, of holding an illegal meeting on Oct. 1.
The meeting, which was attended Smith, D’Amico, Town Engineer Jim Galligan and Dominick Sorrentino, a Democrat who is Smith’s running mate, was to conduct the first round of interviews for the road foreman position the town has open.
Bielik said he was not invited to this meeting and only found out about it after it was held. In addition, Bielik contends the meeting did not follow the proper procedures that have been set out by the town because it was not posted online or in the newspapers.
Bielik said when he confronted Smith about not being told about the meeting, Smith sent a text that said he did not think Bielik would be interested in the meeting.
Bielik said he contacted the FOI Commission shortly after because he was concerned that it might be perceived that the Board of Selectmen was holding illegal or secret meetings.
“When two members of the same party get together they can caucus, but they can’t do town business,” Bielik said. “If they do, it must be called and posted.”
Smith said last Friday he hadn’t seen the complaint and or received any word from the commission. He said he would only receive word if the commission thought there was a problem, otherwise the issue would never reach his desk.
Bielik said there have been two other meetings, on Oct. 8 and Oct. 15, which have been posted correctly and all three selectmen have attended. Sorrentino did not attend either of those meetings.
“This does nothing about the first meeting, but the subsequent meetings have been done in a manner I think is appropriate,” Bielik said.
The Republican American contributed to this article.