Perryville Commissioner Michael Dawson made several serious accusations about town employees Tuesday night during the monthly town hall meeting, accusations that are being refuted by the mayor, police chief and town administrator.
Shortly after the meeting began, Dawson asked that a closed session be put on the agenda to discuss what he called the "criminal misconduct" of a town police officer.
The mayor and commissioners voted down the request and Police Chief Vince Wernz said he had nothing to report "on any criminal misconduct."
Dawson, however, continued to bring up the subject during the meeting.
The town's juvenile outreach program recently hired a new director and Dawson also questioned the manner in which he was hired.
The commissioner asked Wernz how many people applied for the position, to which he replied that the job is advertised internally first, according to the personnel manual, and one person applied internally. The same person is the new program director.
"Procedures were followed correctly," Town Administrator Denise Breder said. She added that the position was advertised in-house for a week and the position was filled.
Later in the meeting, Dawson asked the police chief about the hiring process and background investigations involved.
Wernz explained fingerprints of the applicant are sent to the federal government and any reports of convictions are sent back to the police department.
Dawson switched subjects back to the "alleged criminal misconduct" of one of the department's employees and asked if an investigation was still taking place.
Wernz said he couldn't speak publicly about it.
It doesn't take three months to conduct an investigation, Dawson said, especially on an alleged theft.
Breder assured Dawson that when Wernz had something to report he would report back to the mayor and commissioners.
Dawson bluntly said he didn't believe Breder or Wernz, and he wants information in the next few days.
"[It is] not advisable to talk about personnel issues publicly," Breder said, and refused to do so.
The town administrator, however, received the brunt of Dawson's accusations, specifically regarding copies of a purchase order for road improvements the commissioner said he asked for two weeks ago.
"[There is] quite a full load on my plate right now," Breder told Dawson as to why he hasn't received the documents yet. She added that purchase orders from 2009 and 2010, the time frame the requested document is regarding, is in remote storage and a town employee would have to fetch them.
Instead, Breder gave copies to the mayor and commissioners of the 2012 town roads report.
Two weeks is plenty of time, Dawson said, and the delay leads him to believe the purchase orders are being altered.
"Absolutely not," Breder responded. "I don't appreciate that implication."