TIVERTON — Bob Martin, Tiverton’s Maintenance Foreman, who has been suspended from his employment without pay since Nov. 1 by the town, will not face criminal charges, the State Police said Monday morning.
Mr. Martin had been under investigation by the state police since allegations were aired on Providence television station Channel 10 (WJAR ) in late October that he had used town resources on town time to work on his private property.
On Monday morning, however, State Police Detective Commander Major Todd Cattlow said, “We closed the investigation about two weeks ago. There will be no charges” against Mr. Martin.
Major Cattlow said the State Police had consulted with the Attorney General’s Office prior to the announcement. If there had been criminal charges against Mr. Martin, the Attorney General’s Office would have prosecuted them.
Although no criminal charges will be filed against Mr. Martin, disciplinary action by the town in connection with his employment is still pending and is considered a separate matter.
On Nov. 4 the town announced it was suspending Mr. Martin without pay from his employment for 30 days (from Nov. 1 to Nov 30), pending the outcome of the state police investigation.
On Dec. 6, the town suspended him for another 30 days, until Dec. 30, Mr. Martin said in an interview Monday morning. And last Saturday, he said, he received another letter dated Dec. 27, signed by Town Clerk and Acting Town Administrator Nancy Mello, advising him he was suspended without pay for another 30 days, from Jan. 1 to Jan. 29, 2014, pending the state police and Tiverton police investigation.
Mr. Martin said he had only been interviewed once by the state police, and never by the Tiverton police, in connection with the allegations.
Last Friday the Town Council published notice of a special closed executive session meeting for Monday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. to consider the Martin investigation. The meeting was held, and in public afterwards the council announced it had taken action in the closed session, without indicating what that action was and saying that it was sealing the minutes of the meeting.
At the time of its meeting, Ms. Mello said, the Town Council did not know what the results were of the state police investigation or of the determination by state officials that no criminal charges would be filed against Mr. Martin.
In his interview Monday morning, Mr. Martin said he did not know what the outcome was of the state police investigation, and said officials had not informed him of any decision they had made. He also said he had not heard that the town council would be considering the matter at an executive session meeting Monday night.
“How they expect you to live without being paid is beyond me,” Mr. Martin said. He said he estimates he is losing a little under $4,000 per month as a result of his suspension without pay.
He said he has filed a union grievance concerning the disciplinary action against him, which he expects will end up in arbitration. An arbitration “takes a substantial amount of time,” he said.
At the time he was suspended, Mr. Martin was President of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) Local 2670A, and has been for most of the many years he’s been employed with the town.