Skowhegan’s town manager fired back Wednesday against a selectman’s “unacceptable” behavior during this week’s town meeting.
That comes as Selectman Harold Bigelow faces accusations that he created a hostile work environment within the town office, including circulating an email with a lewd comment about a woman.
Bigelow started a Select Board meeting Tuesday with a 15-minute speech defending himself from past accusations and criticizing detractors and town officials, according to the Waterville Morning Sentinel.
Town Manager Christine Almand was asked by Bigelow if any additional complaints had been filed against him. Almand said Bigelow began lashing out on her and other officials during the meeting, according to the Morning Sentinel.
“The behavior witnessed at the meeting violated multiple policies,” Almand told the Sentinel on Wednesday. “The other board members, myself and several other employees were attacked without merit.”
Bigelow faces a total of six complaints filed against him since he took office eight months ago.
A female town worker said Bigelow made her uncomfortable when he allegedly told her that she resembled his late wife and left a photo.
Bigelow claimed he never made the woman feel uncomfortable, according to the Sentinel. He claimed Tuesday that the allegations have been made in an attempt to silence him.
Bigelow also faced criticism after he reportedly went to the fire station and criticized the fire chief in front of firefighters, according to the Sentinel.
Bigelow claims that the complaints against him started after he voted against a new employment contract for Almand back in December that includes an 18 percent pay increase over the next two years, the Sentinel reported. Bigelow was the only selectman who voted against it.
Select Board Chair Todd Smith defended his decision to allow Bigelow to speak on Tuesday as long as he did, telling the newspaper town meetings are a time to raise complaints.