Auburn residents want answers on illegal dumping investigation
AUBURN — Nearly all of the two dozen residents who attended Monday's Board of Selectmen meeting were there to support Road Agent Michael Dross, who was exonerated of illegal dumping accusations last week through an independent investigation.
While most were pleased to know that Dross' name had been cleared, many wanted to know what the next step was in terms of bringing those responsible for the dumping to justice.
“Why should we sit here tonight and have nothing said in Mike's defense,” said resident Dennis Viera, by far the most outspoken resident at the meeting. “He's an elected official in the town, and he's done nothing wrong .... This man's character was defamed and his livelihood was threatened. That needs to be justified.”
Each of the three selectmen — Russell Sullivan, James Headd and Chairman Paul Raiche — said that they are exploring legal actions with the town's attorney.
“Throughout this entire investigation, we were very anxious to say things that we couldn't say because we knew about them in private sessions and we legally can't tell people,” said Raiche. “At this point of time ... just as we didn't rush to judgment against Mike, not to rush this issue until we get information and legal council tells us what to do next.”
Sullivan said the matter has been referred to the Rockingham County Attorney's Office.
Chris Fenerty, investigator for the Rockingham County Attorney's Office, told the Union Leader Monday that his office is looking into the matter, but said he could not elaborate. The matter has also been referred to Police Chief Edward Picard, who was not at the meeting.
Richard Eaton, a current candidate for the Board of Selectmen, was among those who spoke at the meeting.
“As far as I'm concerned, there's some deep healing that needs to go on in this town, and no matter what came out of this investigation, no matter whose fault it was, or whoever's fault it wasn't, it's time to let a dead dog lie,” said Eaton. “The investigation still needs to go on ... but whether the town brings charges against anybody or whatever, let them handle it, and let's let it progress the way it should progress.
“I'll tell you right now, I've been out knocking on 500 something doors .... and there is really a lot of division in this town, a lot of division, and there's no need for that.”
Many of those in attendance at the meeting said they'll also attend and demand answers at the Auburn Police Commission's meeting at 7 p.m. tonight.
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