June 6, 2007 Minutes

These minutes were posted by the Ethics.

Town of Pittsfield, New Hampshire
Ethics Committee
85 Main Street
Pittsfield, New Hampshire 03263
Date/Time : Wednesday June 6, 2007 7:00pm
Location : Town Hall, Large meeting room
Attending : G. Amnott , M. Bahr, H. Sanborn, H. Fitzgerald
Members of Public : D. Schroth, J. Leanarts, many other members of public
Excused Absence : R. Vien, Unexcused Absence : none
Quorum? : Yes
1. Meeting was called to order at 7:07pm
2. The Prehearing for Mr. Schroth’s complaint regarding Mr. Leanarts was begun.
3. The Committee reviewed the contents of the complaint.
4. The Committee considered the criteria necessary to continue with the complaint.
A. Jurisdiction – Unanimous agreement
B. Other means exhausted – Unanimous agreement.
C. Merit –
a) The Committee opened discussion on this issue. Mr. Schroth submitted 5
written examples he felt illustrated the contentious relationship in question.
He clarified that any such personal relationship is worthy of recusal. He noted
that Mr. Leanarts would gain by not recusing in this case by always being
b) Mr. Leanarts’ position was that the personal relationship cited, and his public
non support of Mr. Elliott, did not justify recusal. He felt it was impossible to
serve as selectman if recusal was required for any such relationships. He
rebutted and gave his own interpretation of Mr. Schroth’s list of 5 examples.
c) Public Input :
i) Mr. Morse – Gave his account of events at the night in question. Felt that
if recusal in this case was required, town government would be unable to
ii) Mr. Hast – Supportive of Mr. Schroth’s complaint. Felt Mr. Leanart’s
decision made a big difference in the final vote count for Mr. Elliott.
iii) Ms. Buatti – Noted contention between Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Leanarts
during Town Meeting, asked why Mr. Fitzgerald did not recuse this
hearing if contention is grounds for recusal.
iv) Mr. Chase – A witness at the selectboard meeting in question, gave his
account of events. Supports Mr. Schroth’s complaint and noted a history
of other people in town committees recusing in what he felt were similar
d) A discussion was held regarding the nature of personal associations and at
what level recusal is appropriate, and how this is practical in a town of our
e) The Committee agreed to dismiss this complaint based on the fact that the
personal relationship cited did not merit a recusal. Vote for dismissal : HF no,
HS yes, MB yes, GA yes to dismiss, vote passed 3-1.
5. Discussion on the complaint was closed.
6. Meeting was adjourned at 9pm.
Respectfully submitted by Secretary M. Bahr