Brock addresses council after failed reimbursement vote

Following the vote, Brock returned to the council room and, during public comment time at the end of the meeting, addressed the reimbursement issue at the lectern. Read about the vote here.

I want to thank the council for hearing my request. It’s ok if you voted no. It’s alright.

I just want to clarify a few things for a little conjecture, so that people will understand why I made this request.

Councilman Donald Brock

I was introduced to Ms. Hunter in November, 2020, by our then Town Administrator Brian Cook. If I was not serving on town council at the time, I would never have met Ms. Hunter. I didn’t know her from Adam’s house cat.

We – Councilman McKenrick, and to a certain extent Mayor Griffin, and myself – have been through three plus years of litigation. And there is still litigation pending.

To say that the relationships decayed on council during that time would be an understatement. It was a very toxic time. There is still toxicity among some members on this council.

I overheard some lively discussion, and I appreciate everyone’s opinion, what everyone had to say and what I heard. Councilman McKenrick, you said that I should have asked, prior to retaining legal counsel, if council would provide legal representation for my [deposition] in the 2021 case.

I talked to Town Attorney Balthazor about this and I was told that he is not involved in anything related to MPA. I did not speak to Mayor Franklin because – let’s be honest – that would not have gone anywhere. Very toxic. Very hostile. I cannot remember the number of times he accused me of various transgressions, asked me to resign, and what not.

So, when I was served a subpoena, as the town attorney mentioned, given the fact that there was a letter dated Feb. 11, 2022, that was received from Nexsen Pruet, telling me that the Town reserves the right to recoup any and all legal fees from me and my “co-conspirators,” namely Ashley Hunter and Ms. Ball.

But as Mayor Griffin pointed out, myself and Ms. Ball have never once been a party to any litigation in this town

However, I akin walking into that deposition as walking into a lion’s den or kicking a hornet’s nest. You sat in on executive session. The mayor sat in on executive session. Would you say that I was treated fairly by the Town’s outside counsel? I don’t believe so, judging by the responses I received from them.

And you’re right. I didn’t acknowledge them because I did not believe the mayor at that time had the authority to hire counsel. But he did. And he lied about it. Shannon called him out. You [McKenrick] laugh because you remember this. He lied about it. Shannon said, “Actually, you did hire the counsel,” then you [McKenrick] made a motion to retroactively approve all the actions that had been taken.

To say that someone can’t go and hire counsel and then come back after the fact …that’s actually false.

We actually have precedence that has been established that someone can do that.

I don’t believe the mayor had the authority. He did it. Council blessed it. That’s ok.

Councilwoman Fripp, you used words like accuse and convict. Those are nice buzz words. Again, I say to you, I have never been formally accused. There have been no charges, whether they be criminal, civil, ethical. If someone honestly believes I’ve committed some infraction, the path is to file a complaint with the ethics commission.

As far as I know, there are no outstanding complaints against myself or any other member of council at this time.

One last thing and I’ll close.

Councilman McKenrick, you said that if Mayor Franklin had incurred any legal fees, should the Town reimburse him for any of those fees.

The answer is yes, if he is acting in his official capacity. Unless otherwise proven, the answer is overwhelmingly yes, he should be reimbursed. And if it’s proven that he wasn’t acting in his official capacity, then this body has a decision to make as to whether or not we attempt to recoup.

I believe I was acting in my official capacity. I have letters from Maynard Nexsen that addressed me as Councilman Brock.  Again, I was introduced to Ms. Hunter by our town administrator.

I respect the decision of this body. I may not agree with it, but I respect it. As the mayor just said, sometimes you don’t get your way, trust me, I was there for three years and I didn’t get my way a lot of times. Judging by my portly status, I have not missed a meal.

So, with that I thank you for hearing me out. Let’s adjourn this meeting and eat some cake to celebrate our new Councilwoman Page.

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