Dennis Randall calls turbine supporter’s lawsuit threat “politically motivated”
TOWN HOUSE- The mood was light when Elaine Fiore, the Chairman of Kingston’s Board of Selectmen (BOS), first opened up Monday night’s selectmen meeting to open forum. Then, Kingston-resident Jeanette Pasquale (pictured) came to the podium.
“[Dennis Randall’s] conduct on Facebook, with regards mainly to the turbine, has been to the point of harassment and bullying,” Pasquale told the BOS. “Which has gotten so bad with myself personally that I did need to seek legal counsel.”
Pasquale said she is “in the process” of filing a defamation and harassment suit against Randall.
Although Pasquale did not cite a specific instance of Randall’s alleged cyber-bullying or harassment, Pasquale said she has “concerns as to whether or not [Dennis Randall] can be impartial” when casting turbine-related votes.
Pasquale expanded upon her “concerns” and read a quote from a “private but written conversation” she had with Randall on Facebook.
“Mr. Randall said he had no intention of having any testing done,” Pasquale said to the BOS. “Beacause, and I quote, ‘if things turn out the way I hope then a study will not be necessary because the turbines will be gone.’”
Pasquale’s Facebook page, dubbed ‘Wind Turbine Talk,’ has posted a screenshot of the conversation between Pasquale and Randall, which Pasquale alleges occurred after the town elections, held on April 27.
NOT SO FAST…
Randall interjected into Pasquale’s statement on Monday night, asking Pasquale when he made the comment.
“I believe the exact date was April,” Pasquale told the BOS. “I don’t have the exact date. It was just after the election.”
Yesterday, on Pasquale’s ‘Kingston Turbine Talk’ Facebook page, Pasquale conflicted her own statements to the BOS days earlier and posted the exact date of her conversation with Randall as May 1.
Randall, who does not dispute that he spoke to Pasquale on Facebook, told the Journal that he was referring to unknown outcome of pending litigation between nine families from Indian Pond Estates and Mary O’Donnell over the siting of her three industrial-sized wind turbines along Marion Drive when he mentioned the possibility of the turbines being gone.
Today, Randall also disputes Pasquale’s assertion that he said he had no intention of having any testing done on the turbines and is firing back at the sue-happy turbine advocate.
“I meant if [the turbines] weren’t built properly we wouldn’t need testing,” Randall told the Journal today. “I never would oppose testing.”
Randall continued, saying “I won’t be intimidated by baseless accusations” and telling the Journal that he believes Pasquale’s threat of a lawsuit is “politically motivated.”
In regards to Pasquale’s claims that Selectman Randall has “bullied and harassed” her, Randall responded that he’s “never bullied or harassed anyone.”
Randall has maintained that Kingston’s wind turbines were improperly sited since striking new revelations about the turbines’ site approval process in February.
A CLEAN SCREENSHOT
That screenshot, visible to the right, show’s Pasquale’s response to Randall and the beginning of Randall’s follow-up response to Pasquale. “You already appear to have your mind made up. I don’t. I’m still researching, still asking,” Randall writes before the conversation becomes no longer visible.
Pasquale, who spoke for nearly five minutes to the BOS, talked for less than twenty seconds before she started challenging the assertions of Leland Road residents Dan Alves and Doreen Reilly during Monday night’s BOS open forum, calling them out by name.
“Typically, what will happen is if somebody comments favorably about the turbines, Doreen [Reilly] will comment that their against those who are suffering because of them,” Pasquale told the BOS. “Dan [Alves] has been known to comment negatively about the turbines, on posts originally having nothing to do with turbines, for example a conversation that was started about the increase in the price of dump stickers.”
Pasquale, Alves and Reilly are all members of Town Locals ~ Kingston MA, a Facebook dedicated to all-things Kingston.
Since Pasquale’s remarks, the author of this story has been banned from Town Locals ~ Kingston MA for , in the words of group administrator Ben Lovett, “inciting negativity” by posting links to KingstonJournal.com stories.
“A HANDFUL OF OTHERS”
On Monday night, Pasquale alleged that it was because of Alves and Reilly, along with “a handful of others,” that “many people are afraid to say anything in favor of the turbines” on public Facebook groups like Town Locals ~ Kingston MA.
Pasquale continued, telling the BOS that she has driven to Leland road “on at least 15 occasions since April…to see if I heard what they experienced. I have not.”
“I have gone both during the day and at night,” Pasquale told the BOS. “On night visits, I never saw any lights on at the Reilly home. There were almost always lights on and the television on in the Alves home.”
When interviewed by the Journal today, Reilly took exception to Pasquale’s repeated visiting of Leland Road and told the Journal “my family is creeped out that she is outside of our home in the middle of the night.”
Randall, who was then unaware that he was being sued, stopped Pasquale when she began talking about looking through the windows of the Alves homestead.
“I’m having some difficulties with this because you have a right to open forum but discussing another citizen, I don’t think that’s what open forum is about,” Randall said. “That I’m having an issue with.”
Selectman Susan Munford seemed to agree with Randall.
“Each is entitled to their opinions but this may not be the forum for it, unless we were discussing–at that time–the turbines,” Munford said. “Ms. Pasquale has every right to her opinions but is this the right place for it right now?”
Randall followed up Munford’s question by saying, “I would suggest that it’s a proper use of open forum to present your opinions but not to present somebody else’s opinions and then argue their opinions in open forum.”
Randall urged Pasquale to leave third parties out of her comments. Pasquale answered Randall’s request by singling Randall out.
“Any statement that I make in here…does come from some sort of public record,” Pasquale said. “With the exception of one comment by Mr. Randall himself, privately to me.”
“WE’LL RESPOND ACCORDINGLY”
Fiore tried to quell Pasquale’s concerns, telling Pasquale the BOS is now “taking [the Department of Environmental Protection’s] lead.”
According to Fiore, the Department of Environmental Protection (or DEP), “is even evaluating the private study that was done for the Indian Pond Estate area. So DEP has been our ally in this.”
“If [DEP] tells us something is amiss then we’ll respond accordingly,” Fiore told Pasquale. “If they tell us everything is fine, we’ll respond accordingly.”
At the end of Monday night’s open forum, Randall briefly responded to Pasquale’s attacks.
“Like every member of this board, when I was elected I took an oath of office,” Randall said. “And that was to uphold and defend the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and every citizen here. I will not prejudge any vote until I’ve heard the facts on any issue.”
Pasquale’s alleged defamation suit against Randall was first reported on the front page of The Kingston Reporter this Friday under the headline “lawsuit levied.”
KingstonJournal.com has been unable to verify that claim as of Saturday.
Today, both Randall and Reilly told the Journal that they have yet to receive subpoenas or documentation from an attorney on Pasquale’s behalf.
Randall was elected to the Board of Selectmen this April after narrowly beating out Tammy Murray-Cousins in a four-candidate race to serve the remaining year on ex-Selectman Ron Gleason’s expiring term.
Before Randall’s return to the selectmen this spring, Randall had previously served on the BOS from 2008 to 2011.
While Pasquale tweaks her story about the timing of the now-infamous Facebook chat with Randall, users on Doreen Reilly’s 259-member ‘Kingston Wind Turbine Watch’ Facebook group have been rallying around the parties named in Pasquale’s remarks.
“It is bizarre for someone to take such interest in other peoples pain,” another comment reads. “It’s a fact that these are sited wrong. Just crazy.”
Other comments go on to challenge the validity of Pasquale’s claims that only 36 complaints have been filed against the Kingston wind turbines.
“I have filed at least 20-15 myself,” writes one commenter from Indian Pond Estates. That commenter, Jenna Goldstein, alleges that five of her complaints went missing and that other complaints may be missing too.
“I know I have filed at least 150-200 [complaints] and about six months ago they did not have several of my neighbors included in my count,” Doreen Reilly wrote to Goldstein in response.
According to Reilly, Health Agent Henny Walters reported that 38 households have filed complaints against Kingston’s wind turbines.
Two of those households, the Alves and Reilly homes, have been most vocal in alerting local officials and residents to the residual noise and shadow flicker that emanates from the Kingston Wind Independence Turbine and enters their homes.
At Monday night’s open forum, Pasquale also alleged that Dan Alves and Reilly (neighbors on Leland Road) “contradict” each other because “Doreen has said her family has had to leave their home for hours at a time, Dan contradicts this by saying his family are trapped 24/7.”
That statement by Pasquale has also provoked blowback in comments posted to WickedLocal:Kingston.
“The Alves and Reilly’s told conflicting stories???” a commenter writes on WickedLocal:Kingston. “Just because one said they felt the need to flee the impacts and were fortunate enough to have relatives they could stay with?…and the other said they felt trapped because they did not have relatives.”
This afternoon, Reilly told the Journal that she believes Pasquale was “coached” and saw her comments at Monday night’s BOS open forum as a personal attack upon herself, her husband, Dan Alves and Selectman Dennis Randall.
Randall also said he felt personally attacked by Pasquale’s open forum remarks and told the Journal that he has not spoken to Pasquale since the conversation in question, which Pasquale alleges took place seven-weeks ago, on May 1.