Oakland Town Council Chairman Michael Perkins, left, responds to a question last month during a discussion about Town Manager Ella Bowman at a council meeting at the Oakland fire station. At right is council member Dana Wrigley. Bowman has since announced her resignation to become the town manager in Winslow. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

OAKLAND — Town councilors held an emergency meeting Wednesday to consult with legal counsel, but took no vote when they emerged from an executive session about 30 minutes later.

Council Chairman Michael Perkins said afterward that no motion was made and no vote taken.

“There’s no action to be done at this time,” he said.

While the subject of the executive session was not made public, other than it was to consult with legal counsel, Perkins said afterward that if people had questions, they should refer to the statement the council released concerning Town Manager Ella Bowman’s resignation earlier this week.

The town issued an agenda Wednesday morning for the 5 p.m. meeting. Perkins and Councilors Dana Wrigley and Robert Nutting attended in person, Councilor Don Borman was on speakerphone and Councilor David Groder attended via Zoom, as did the town’s attorney, Matt Tarasevich.

Bowman resigned her post as town manager this week after having been on paid nondisciplinary administrative leave since Aug. 23.


The Winslow Town Council voted Monday to hire Bowman as town manager to succeed Erica LaCroix, who resigned to become Farmington’s town manager.

On Aug. 25, Bowman received a letter from Perkins informing her she had been placed on leave because a municipal employee had filed a complaint against her, and an independent investigator was being hired to look into the matter.

Bowman has since said she learned during an interview with the investigator that six employees had filed complaints against her.

Bowman, who is transgender, was the Oakland town manager for nine years, and before that had been a police officer in the town for 15 years. She wrote in her resignation letter to the Town Council that backlash to her gender transition prompted her to leave. The council said in its statement Tuesday that Bowman’s gender transition was not a factor in its decision to place her on administrative leave.

The statement said the council had yet to address Bowman’s departure, including issues related to compliance with and adherence to the terms of her employment agreement with the town. A meeting is to be held at an appropriate time to do that, according to the council’s statement.

By law, a municipal body must explain the reason for going into an executive session, and no vote may be taken during the session. Any voting must be done publicly following such a session.

A handful of residents attended the meeting at the Oakland police station at 7 Fairfield St., waiting outside until the executive session had ended. The residents then reentered the building to hear that no action would be taken Wednesday.

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