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Greenfield Official Believes Town Finance Director Fired For Whistleblowing

Town hall in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
File Photo
Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com
Greenfield Town Hall in Greenfield, Massachusetts

Updated Monday, July 30 at 4:55 p.m. 

The head of the Greenfield, Massachusetts, Town Council said she believes the mayor fired the finance director for being the bearer of bad news.

Last week, the town council in Greenfield took a unanimous vote of no confidence in Mayor William Martin and demanded his resignation.

This came after the mayor dismissed the town's finance director, Elizabeth Braccia.

Town Council President Rudy Renaud said she thinks friction between the mayor and Braccia began after she reported spending irregularities at GCET, the town-run broadband network.

"Since then, the relationship with Elizabeth and the mayor appeared to be going downhill, and it looks as though she was terminated for whistleblowing," Renauld said. "From all appearances and from everything I've seen, that's what I think happened."

The manager of GCET, who was chosen by the mayor, was fired after the finance director's revelations. The council has called on Martin to immediately reinstate Braccia.

Renaud said she expects the situation will be a topic of discussion at the council's next meeting on August 15.

In a statement released late Monday, Martin issued his first comment on the vote.  He said he had no plans to step down and cited the town's charter, which says the decision of the mayor is final when it comes to removing or suspending a town officer or department head.

"Personnel matters are rarely simple and cannot be shared in a sound bite or in an executive session discussion," Martin said.  "The Council could not be provided enough knowledge, details, or information to make an informed management decision."

Martin has been mayor for nine years and his current term runs through the end of 2019. 

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.