Rockland: Investigator Says Selectman Pressured Town Official into “Sexual Activities”

Surveillance footage from Rockland Town Hall on May 1. From left: Town Administrator Allan Chiocca and Deirdre Hall.

Surveillance footage from Rockland Town Hall on May 1. From left: Town Administrator Allan Chiocca and Deirdre Hall.

 

In Rockland, Deirdre Hall has resigned from the Rockland Board of Selectmen after an investigation found that she used her position to pressure Town Administrator Allan Chiocca into “sexual activities.”

Regina Ryan from Discrimination and Harassment Solutions, LLC was hired by the Board of Selectmen to conduct an investigation after Hall claimed that Chiocca acted inappropriately towards her after-hours on May 1 at town offices. Hall was serving as Vice-Chair of the selectmen at the time.

“Ms. Hall used her position as a member of the Board of Selectmen – who is actively reviewing and would soon would be voting on his request for contract extension and salary increase – to pressure him into engaging in sexual activities with her,” said Ryan.

Hall has been on voluntary leave pending the investigation. She was not present at the meeting, but submitted her resignation through her attorney.

Chiocca, who was placed on paid leave pending the investigation, has denied the claims that he acted inappropriately towards hall that night. Further, Ryan says she does not substantiate Hall’s allegation that the sexual activity was “not consensual.”  

“While Mr. Chiocca was found not to have violated the town’s discriminatory harassment policy, other serious misconduct was identified in the investigation,” said Town Counsel John Clifford.

Clifford added the selectmen will meet on Tuesday, July 17 to decide Chiocca’s future with the town.

Members of the crowd at the High School Auditorium responded with “fire Chiocca.”

Selectmen Larry Ryan said they needed to follow due process, and could not act at that moment, as it was not on the agenda.

He said despite the result of the investigation, “it doesn’t absolve [Chiocca] for the other serious allegations of alcohol on town property etcetera, etcetera. We will decide his fate next week.”

“The conduct uncovered by this investigation is very, very disturbing to me. Both as a resident and as a member of this board,” said Selectman Mike Mullen.

Surveillance video from Town Hall May 1 was approved for release by the board. Also released was an affidavit from a technical expert, who said there was no tampering or editing of the video in question. Earlier in the meeting, the board voted to reorganize, removing Ed Kimball as Chair. Larry Ryan was named Chair, and Mike O’Loughlin was named Vice-Chair. O’Loughlin was not present as he had a work emergency.

The Selectmen did not take up findings of the investigation as they pertains to Selectman Ed Kimball.

After the meeting, Chairman Ryan says there have been allegations that Kimball was involved with Hall. When WATD asked if those allegations were true, Ryan deferred comment to Kimball.

Adam Shafran, an attorney for Chiocca, said the following:

“Mr. Chiocca urges the Board of Selectman to release the full 29 page investigative report so that the residents of Rockland are given all the facts regarding this case. Only then will the public understand the full scope of Hall’s and Kimball’s egregious conduct, and the career and life altering impact this has and will continue to have on Mr. Chiocca and his family.”

Chairman Ryan said during the meeting it’s not up to the board to decide what happens to Kimball.

“We have no authority over Mr. Kimball or Ms. Hall, or any other elected official. All we can do is sit here and ask the people of Rockland what they want,” said Chairman Ryan. “If you want to recall these people or to remove them from office so we can get on with the business of this town, then please, go ahead and do that.”

Kimball said after the meeting he does not plan on resigning.  

“I have no intention to resign, I plan on completing my term,” said Kimball. “My term’s up in April.”  

The Board of Selectmen are scheduled to meet next on July 17 at 7 p.m.


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About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny left the City of Boston and now lives in Rockland. Lenny has covered both news and sports, from the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com