PITTSTON — After months of uncertainty, the Pittston Board of Selectmen on Wednesday set a date for a recall vote next month that could see voters remove one of their colleagues.

Selectman Joe Caputo, who was elected last year, is at the center of a recall effort led by Pittston resident Cheryl Peaslee.

Citing advice from the town’s attorney, the remaining two board members, Chair Jane Hubert and Mary Jean Ambrose, set the recall vote for March 18, which is the date of the town’s municipal election.

The board discussed legal matters for about 30 minutes in executive session before making the announcement.

“I was advised by the lawyer to set the date for the vote and I will do so,” Hubert said. “I’m doing so as a select board member and I don’t know what else to say. I’m very upset.”

Hubert did not allow public discussion on the matter. She said she has spent months dealing with the recall petition and discussing the situation with both the town’s attorney and the Maine Municipal Association.


The petition submitted by Peaslee, who is Ambrose’s sister, has been a subject of confusion for weeks. Questions were raised about the validity of the signatures. Also at issue was whether to follow the state statue or what Hubert calls a faulty and outdated town ordinance.

Hubert has given weekly updates to the board with little to no information from the lawyer, which further delayed the process.

Pittston Select Board meets Wednesday to discuss a recall petition for one member of their board. Screen capture via Zoom

She said she has been in conversations with Maine Municipal Association and the town attorney and that she was not stalling the process.

Information from the Maine Municipal Association last week regarding the ordinance advised the town to have a public hearing if the public wanted to make any changes to its current ordinance or to rescind it completely and rely on state statute.

Any change to the ordinance would require voter approval either at Town Meeting or a special town meeting set for that purpose.

Hubert, who was on the Select Board in 2005 when the ordinance was adopted, has said the intent of the ordinance was to recall a municipal officer for a specific reason, not to remove someone without reason, as Peaslee’s petition seeks to do.


Peaslee has said her petition was intended to instill order and friendliness back in the town, something she alleges the town has not had since Caputo joined the Board of Selectmen last March.

The town’s ordinance differs greatly from the state statute, which outlines a timeline for the recall, and states that an elected official may be the subject of a recall only if that official is convicted of a crime committed during that person’s term in office and the municipality is the victim.

The Select Board said the public hearing and vote for rescinding the town’s ordinance on the Recall of Municipal Officers will be Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.

Hubert said the town’s Appeals Board met Feb. 8 and she advised members to come up with any suggestions they would like to see in a new town ordinance.

Caputo did not offer any comment at the Select Board meeting, but Ambrose said scheduling the vote is the right thing to do.

“Let the voters decide,” she said.

In Pittston, the municipal election is scheduled for the Monday following the annual Town Meeting, which is scheduled to start at 9:45 a.m., March 16.

Ambrose is not seeking re-election. Three residents have filed papers to run for the open seat: Terrence W. Marks II, Timothy J. Lawrence and Catherine Jewett Thomas.

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