The town of Litchfield has no official social media account. In fact, it doesn’t even have a functioning website at the moment.

But since December, a pair of Facebook pages have sprung up, each presenting a different, albeit anonymous, take on how Litchfield has conducted its business in the last year.

Taken together, they paint a polarized picture.

One of the pages, titled “Litchfield, Maine unofficial,” became active on Dec. 21, the day after Tim Lachapelle was recalled from his position on the town select board in a 167-50 vote. Though Lachapelle would not say if he created that page, he said he supports many of the items it has posted.

Those items include a number of accusations and insinuations of poor conduct by employees and elected officials of the town, some of which Lachapelle has made previously, others that are new.

But local officials say there is no merit to Lachapelle’s accusations, along with those on the Facebook page, and Lachapelle has so far presented little evidence to support his claims.

A Jan. 6 post on the page suggested that Town Manager Trudy Lamoreau became the acting clerk of the town in August so that she would “have control of the voting within the town,” then identifies her as the person who counted the votes in the election that recalled Lachapelle.

“Serious fraud, or just a conflict of interest?” the anonymous author wrote. “Either way the taxpayers deserve much more for Their Money!!! And that’s my opinion.”

Lamoreau has been serving as the acting town clerk in Litchfield, but she denied that she counted the votes in that election or tried to influence its outcome in anyway. She said the town’s deputy clerk managed that election and added that she was in her office and away from the polls while the voting was held.

“I must be one powerful lady, really,” she said, sarcastically.

Now, there’s another Facebook page, titled “Real Litchfield, Maine INFO unofficial,” that seeks to respond to accusations like those.

While the page is not affiliated with the town, Lamoreau said she agrees with what has been posted there, and at least one town employee, Code Enforcement Officer Steven Ochmansky, has also made comments on it.

The author of that second page, which became active on Jan. 14, has rehashed several of the comments that were made on the first page, then offered a differing view.

One post, for example, describes the awarding of a contract for work on Huntington Hill Road to L.R. Nadeau Inc., the company that is also owned by Litchfield Road Commissioner Larry Nadeau II. It presents the critical view that some residents, including Lachapelle, have taken toward that arrangement. It also provides a defense of the town’s decision on awarding the contract.

But the skirmish that has erupted between those two social media accounts may reflect greater tensions in Litchfield.

Since Lachapelle was first elected to the Select Board in June, he has been criticizing the behavior of some officials. One of his concerns has been the length of time it’s taken Lamoreau to respond to requests for information he has filed under the state Freedom of Access Act.

He has brought those concerns to the Maine Office of the Attorney General, he said. He also forwarded a copy of an email that Brenda Kielty, the public access ombudsman for the Office of the Attorney General, appears to have sent him on Jan. 26. In the email, Kielty informs Lachapelle she asked the town of Litchfield to provide an update on the status of each of his information requests.

A spokesman for the Maine Attorney General would not comment on whether the department is investigating Litchfield.

This week, Lamoreau said that she was not able to fulfill some of Lachapelle’s requests because he sent them when he was a member of the Select Board, and that to be granted, those requests would have had to come from the Select Board as a whole, not Lachapelle acting as an individual.

But the town and people who work for it have taken separate actions against Lachapelle besides voting to recall him from his elected post in December.

On Jan. 11, the town’s attorney, William Dale of Portland, sent a letter to Lachapelle stating that, if he is the author of the “Litchfield, Maine unofficial” Facebook page, he should take it down.

The page “contains many defamatory statements about officers and employees of the Town, suggesting that they have engaged in criminal and/or fraudulent behavior,” Dale wrote. “The conduct alleged is false and (to the extent that you are involved), the Town demands that you immediately take it down and not engage in any such further behavior.”

The attorney’s letter also advises Lachapelle that some town employees are considering “legal remedies as they believe are appropriate” and suggests he contact his homeowner’s insurance.

This week, documents obtained at the Capital Judicial Center showed that Nadeau, the road commissioner, and his wife Selena Nadeau, both sought protection from harassment orders against Lachapelle on Feb. 2 after a shouting match erupted between Larry Nadeau and Lachapelle after a recent town meeting. Justice Thomas Nale Sr. denied those requests.

Lachapelle has said that he is trying to bring greater transparency to the town of Litchfield. Asked about the letter he recently received from the town’s attorney, he did not directly address it. He did share a copy of the letter with the authors of the “Litchfield, Maine unofficial” page, which they posted online on Jan. 29.

Now, Lachapelle said he has other documents that he plans to share with the page’s authors. Local officials question why he hasn’t already presented them to verify his accusations.

Asked about the frustrations that have been raised on the more critical Facebook page, Lamoreau urged anyone with concerns to come visit her at the Town Office. The two current selectmen, Mark Russell and George Thomson, encouraged those with grievances to raise them at selectmen meetings.

Russell said that people have a right to express their opinions on the “Litchfield, Maine unofficial” page, but he added that his wife has been blocked from posting on the page — he himself is not on Facebook — and encouraged those who read it to seek multiple sources of information.

“They’re believing the wrong thing,” he said. “The only way to believe something different is to look at another point of view.”

Staff writer Betty Adams contributed to this report.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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