By Josh Resnek
The daughter of a former high ranking city official is set to receive a payment believed to be $300,000 in return for her silence about the sexual harassment and bullying charges she lodged against her bosses at the Wellness Center.
The mayor is apparently set to sign the agreement after weeks of negotiations.
City Councilors have been officially informed by the city solicitor to say nothing about this payoff, that the negotiations are private.
Only city councilor Mike Marchese has spoken up about the payoff.
The alleged payment for the victim’s silence has inspired some local activists already heightened public protests in the belief that what is happening to the school superintendent who just stepped aside, should be happening to the husband and wife team leading the Wellness Center.
“An independent investigation into this issue of sexual harassment and bullying at the Wellness Center should be immediately begun,” said Councillor Mike Marchese.
“Is the mayor serious about signing this settlement?” he asked. ‘With his former sexual harassment charges, at least four that we know about and possible payments to women in return for their silence, the mayor is the last person to be making settlements for sexual harassment,” said Marchese.
“I want to know what this $300,000 is for. I want to know why the mayor is protecting the accused, who happen to be his social friends and I want to ask the mayor to step away from the negotiations for this payoff,” said Marchese.
“Why haven’t the accused heads of the Wellness Center who stand accused been investigated, punished or removed for their alleged actions?,” said Marchese.
“These people are good friends of the mayor and they haven’t so much as been given a slap on the wrists for their alleged bad behavior. When does the mayor get it and do something about this – and the mayor should come clean about this payment and make it public what it is for and who is involved,” added the councilor.
“They should be investigated as the school superintendent is being investigated and they should step aside until the investigation is complete. The mayor should do the same,” he added.
Gerly Adrien, the well known city activist who lost to the rep in a close race last November told the Leader Herald that the mayor and everyone involved in city government – the school committee, the city council, need to come clean about sexual harassment.
“Break the culture of silence about sexual harassment is what I am protesting about,” she said.
“Where is the mayor on this? How can he possibly be the one to pass judgment on sexual harassment issues?” she asked.