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Town Clerk Placed on Paid Leave

Braintree Town Clerk Joe Powers in the town vault. File photo.
Braintree Town Clerk Joe Powers in the town vault. File photo.
Town Clerk Joe Powers is on paid administrative leave following an incident last week in which he angrily confronted several town officials after a Town Council meeting.

Council President Tom Bowes confirmed Tuesday morning that Powers was put on leave last Wednesday, Jan. 8. He declined to comment on the reason for the suspension and when Powers may return.

Last Tuesday, after a swearing-in ceremony and council re-organization, the Town Council voted to table a matter scheduled for executive session about an unspecified human resources issue. 

Councilors have not confirmed whether the matter was related to Powers, but immediately after they tabled it and closed their meeting, Powers approached a number of officials and asked them why they pushed off the executive session until later this month, in some cases using obscenities that could be heard by those nearby, gathered for a celebration following the swearing-in.

Powers has not been in his office since that night. He did not respond to a request for comment.

This is not the first time that Powers has butted heads with the council.

Last year, Powers filed an Open Meeting Law complaint with the state Attorney General over how the council handled scheduling meetings about a travel and meeting expenses audit and a corresponding policy.

The council sent a letter refuting Powers' allegations and is waiting to hear back from the AG's office.

Powers was re-appointed to his position for a three-year term in July 2012 by a 4-3 vote of the council after some councilors brought up unspecified personnel concerns in the clerk's office.

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