Dwyer elected council president, Beaulieu president pro tempore

Dwyer elected council president, Beaulieu president pro tempore

CUMBERLAND – Town Council members last week unanimously elevated Craig Dwyer to the council presidency and elected Lisa Beaulieu as council president pro tempore to fill in case of absence.

The vote came amid an ongoing legal challenge by Councilor Peter Bradley over his ouster as council president, which he says was improperly done.

“We’ll continue the business of the town,” Dwyer told The Breeze after the vote, declining to comment further on the process.

After the special meeting vote on Nov. 20, where the vote occurred with little discussion and no fanfare, council members took their new seats on the dais for the main council meeting.

Prior to the vote, Bradley read some written comments to his colleagues, telling them he allowed Dwyer to preside over the council as vice president while the matter was still pending in Superior Court. A Rhode Island Supreme Court filing is now being prepared, he said.

“As the Town Council president elected in conformance with the charter, it is my position that I should preside over meetings of this council,” he said. “In the interest of the taxpayers, however, I will not cause town business to be frustrated while this debate plays out. I will defer to the town solicitors, who are clearly not keeping taxpayers in mind.”

He reiterated that there remains a question about the legality of all business being conducted.

The Breeze previously reported that Bradley was removed from the council presidency over matters related to his involvement in the spreading of a rumor about two town employees taking an after-hours tour of the new public safety complex together. An investigation found that the employees did go to the complex, but brought a third person along and were there just prior to 5 p.m. Bradley has said he never said anything about anything sexual happening during the tour.

He originally told School Committee member Ray Salvatore about the tour, and Salvatore then told his wife, Town Solicitor Kelley Morris, and an investigation was commenced from there. Bradley contends that the investigation came about because he had voted against a pay raise for Morris.

Other council members have generally declined to comment on the situation, though Dwyer did previously indicate that Bradley’s removal as council president was due to serious concerns from the rest of the council about his behavior.