CLINTON — Five residents filed a recall petition with the town office Wednesday demanding that Selectman Ronnie Irving be removed from his position on the board because of alleged repeated violations of the town’s charter.

Randy Clark, a former selectman who served 15 years on the board, led the charge against Irving but said he’s not doing so maliciously.

“I’m not trying to cause trouble,” Clark said in an interview Friday. “It’s not that I dislike Ronnie. I just want people to follow the rules. I’ve always been a firm believer of letting elected officials do their job, but they have to follow the rules. I had to follow the rules when I was on the board.”

The petition states that the five residents want Irving removed from his position because of violations of two sections of the town’s charter.

Section 2.05 (b) states that selectmen may not comment on matters in which they abstained from voting, and Section 2.07 (b) states that administrative business must be handled through the town manager and prohibits selectmen from giving orders to subordinates privately or publicly.

Because Irving is employed by the companies contracted to do Clinton’s plowing and highway maintenance, he is prohibited from discussing those matters with fellow board members. According to Clark, Irving’s public comments at multiple selectmen’s meetings have directly violated this rule.

“I’ve heard him make comments about the town’s plowing company at town meetings, and he can’t do that since he works for certain contractors,” Clark said. “If you work for someone and you speak about it publicly to other board members, that could influence them. That can’t happen.”

Randy Clark, a former Clinton selectman and current member of the town’s personnel subcommittee, right, talks with Michael Hachey, former director of the Clinton-Benton Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Station during a selectmen’s meeting July 1 in the Selectmen’s Room at the Clinton Town Hall. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Clark also said that Irving’s repeated orders to former transfer station director Michael Hachey further constitutes ground for his removal.

“I know Ronnie has gone up to the transfer station and told Mike what to do before,” Clark said.

In a phone call Friday, Hachey echoed Clark’s claims.

“Whenever I needed something fixed and I’d ask the town manager, she’d say she needed to call Ronnie Irving,” Hachey said. “That’s not right. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. That’s a conflict of interest.”

In order for Clark’s committee to successfully remove Irving, 15%, or 353, of the registered voters in Clinton need to sign the petition.

A woman who answered Irving’s listed phone number declined to comment or relay a request for comment to Irving.

The recall petition against Irving has come on the heels of a recent outcry over the firing of Hachey as the director of the Clinton-Benton Solid Waste Transfer Station on June 28 by Town Manager Earla Haggerty.

In a letter of termination Haggerty personally delivered to Hachey, she alleged he was let go for a number of personal and professional missteps and disclosed that he had an opportunity to meet with her on July 1 to appeal her decision.

But because of what Haggerty said was Hachey’s “lack of response” to the termination letter, she canceled that meeting and made her decision to fire him final.

Haggerty was appointed as interim director of the transfer station at a selectmen’s meeting on July 1 and remains in the position.

Since Hachey’s termination, Clark has started another petition to reinstate Hachey as the director of the transfer station. Clark said the petition has an estimated 200 signatures.

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