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Fairhaven Board of Health’s closed-door meeting questioned  

Credit:  ARIEL WITTENBERG July 23, 2013 | www.southcoasttoday.com ~~

FAIRHAVEN – The Board of Health met in an emergency executive session this afternoon to discuss Fairhaven’s two wind turbines.

Members of the press present, including the Standard-Times, questioned the reason for a closed door meeting.

Board Chairman Peter DeTerra said the executive session meeting was justified because it dealt with contract negotiations and “potential litigation” between the town and turbine developer, Fairhaven LLC.

The Fairhaven Board of Health is not a party to the Board of Selectman’s contract with the wind turbine developer.

The state Attorney General’s online Open Meeting Law Guide explicitly states that “discussions relating to potential litigation” do not constitute a legal purpose for executive session.

The Guide further states that, “That a person is represented by counsel and supports a position adverse to the public body’s does not by itself mean that litigation is imminently threatened or likely.”

Reached by phone, Fairhaven Wind’s Gordon Deane confirmed that there is no pending litigation between the two parties “at this point” but that there is “certainly a potential” for litigation.

Town Counsel Thomas Crotty, who telephoned into the closed door meeting, could not immediately be reached for comment by the Standard-Times.

Source:  ARIEL WITTENBERG July 23, 2013 | www.southcoasttoday.com

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