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November 2, 2012

Town official charged in fist fight

ROWLEY — Scott C. Martin, one of three elected water commissioners in Rowley, was charged Saturday with assault and battery and disorderly conduct following what police called an alcohol-fueled fist fight at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post on Bradford Street.

Also charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct as a result of the alleged Saturday night fight was Ronald C. Nadeau, 51, of Haverhill Street, Rowley. The charges were filed at Newburyport District Court on Tuesday, according to police Chief Robert Barker.

Martin, 53, lives on Wethersfield Street and has been a member of the Board of Water Commissioners for several years. His current term is set to expire in 2013.

Barker wouldn’t comment on the altercation, other than to say alcohol was involved and the two parties have had dealings in the past.

In February 2011, Rowley selectmen sent a letter of reprimand to Martin for his actions and behavior toward a town employee and two town officials when they questioned the removal of trees while they were being taken down from outside the enclosure of town well No. 12 on Haverhill Street

Selectmen Chairman Bob Snow said Martin, as well as Cicoria Tree Service of Topsfield, ignored a cease-and-desist order three times, adding that Martin was hostile to him and Conservation Commission Vice Chairman Curt Turner. The incident stemmed from a controversial decision to cut down 25 mature trees around near the town well without first seeking approval from the Conservation Commission.

The commission fined both the Water Department and the tree service $3,050 each. In addition, the commission’s order called for the Water Department to replace the affected wetlands and replant trees and vegetation. The Water Department is municipally owned.

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