Casco facing three legal matters

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Town Manager Dave Morton reported to the Casco Board of Selectmen on Tuesday that there were three pending legal matters that involved the town.

A date for a Superior Court hearing has been set for approximately six months from now, Morton said, for a case filed by Jeannine Oren against the Town of Casco regarding a Freedom of Information Act request.

“The court has set a date, and is inviting parties to submit paperwork,” he said.

The hearing for a complaint that was recently brought to the Maine Human Rights Commission is also pending; and Morton did not say if a date had been set.

“It has gone back into a fact-finding process, and I am not sure where that stands,” Morton said during the meeting.

In October, Morton said it was his understanding that the hearing had been tabled; and the investigator’s report had been thrown out or ruled as flawed.

On Tuesday morning, Morton said he received a letter from the attorney that had been appointed to represent the town, and the case was “being reopened.”

According to HRC Case Controller Cindy Albert, the HRC case Irene Morton versus the Town of Casco was tabled to an Oct. 31 hearing, and then it was tabled for a second time and rescheduled for Dec. 12, which is a Monday.

Last week, Albert said the original investigator’s report was the one being used for the hearing process.

She said the first October hearing was tabled until Oct. 31 “at the request of the respondent,” which in this case is the Town of Casco. Albert did not give a reason for the case being tabled twice.

Lastly, Town Manager Morton told selectmen that there is an appeal of a decision made by the Casco Planning Board to approve the construction of a cell tower on Spiller Hill.  That matter will be heard before the Superior Court, he said.

The planning board appeal was made by abutting neighbor, Bill Horton, who had recused himself from his seat on the town’s planning board during its decision-making process.

“Instead of the town arguing the case, we are asking AT&T Mobility to step in,” Morton said.

“We have asked their (legal representation) to file a brief with the court — to save money on the behalf of the town,” he said.

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