SALISBURY — The expected verbal confrontation between embattled Liquor Licensing commissioner Gilbert Medeiros and selectmen did not materialize last night.
Instead of appearing at the public hearing he had requested, Medeiros was a no-show, sending instead his attorney to request a continuance.
Salisbury attorney Anthony Papoulias Jr. stepped to the podium and requested the continuance that would allow him a little more time to prepare a defense for Medeiros. Retained only last week, he said, and with a busy court schedule himself, Papoulias said he just hasn’t had the time he needs. Selectmen acquiesced, continuing the hearing to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20.
On July 22, selectmen voted 3 to 2 to send Medeiros notice that they intended to remove him from the commission under section 7-8 of the Salisbury Home Rule Charter, citing him for conduct unbecoming his office at the board’s July 1 meeting. At that session, Medeiros stood and vigorously berated Selectmen Donald Beaulieu, Freeman Condon and Henry Richenburg for their vote against a slot casino, which killed the venture in town.
Following the meeting, Condon termed Medeiros’ actions that night as “aggressive and in poor taste.”
According to the charter, once he received the written notice, Medeiros was allowed to request a public hearing, which was set for last night. Medeiros asked for access to town counsel, which was denied. His request for copies of training materials he’d received over the years from the town clerk, however, was filled.
Along with the request for the continuance, in Papoulias’ Aug. 2 letter to Henry Richenburg, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, he asked for copies of “all public records and documents, books, papers, photographs, recorded tapes or other documentary materials or data ... which the town and/or Board of Selectmen intend to present as evidence at the public hearing.” Papoulias also requested a list of all witnesses the board intends to call and “the substance of their proposed testimony” at the hearing.
Richenburg responded in a letter dated Aug. 5, informing Papoulias that there are “no public records of any sort that the Board of Selectmen intends to present as evidence ... with the exception of a short segment of the videotaped Board of Selectmen’s meeting of July 1,” depicting Medeiros’ behavior. Richenburg wrote that tape would be provided.
The July 1 meeting can be accessed at any time via the Internet through Salisbury Community Television.
As for witnesses the board intends to call, Richenburg wrote, “Other than the likelihood that members of the Board may ask questions of your client or may make statements of their own relative to the issue before them, there are no witnesses” selectmen intend to call.
However, he added, the board reserved its right to call witnesses, should Papoulias or Medeiros raise issues that “require explanation or response.”