Ethics Board Dismisses Nepotism Complaint

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
After 45 minutes of deliberation in executive session, the Oxford Board of Ethics dismissed a complaint alleging nepotism and a conflict of interest in the hiring of a public works employee.

During a meeting on Jan. 28, the board found no evidence or basis to substantiate the claims made by Ann Krane. The Oxford resident said it was a clear-cut case of nepotism when the Town hired Derek Watts for a public works job, given the fact that his father, Wayne, is the director of the department. The Board of Selectmen, which Krane named in her complaint, approved the hiring.

Reacting to the board's decision, Oxford First Selectman George Temple said, “They did the right thing. There was absolutely no basis for an ethical complaint.”

While Krane is the chairman of the Oxford Democratic Town Committee, she maintains that the complaint was filed as a concerned citizen, and not in an official capacity with her political party.  

Temple, a Republican, said he wasn't buying that.

"She went way over board with no basis whatsoever," he said. "She didn’t do her party any good, or the good people who are Democrats in town."

“We hire people based on merit,” Temple said. “[Derek Watt is] one of the better hires I made. That kid is going to be terrific for public works.”

Asked for her reaction to the board's decision, Krane sent Patch a statement which has been published in full at this link. It reads, in part:

"This board has failed to carry out its responsibility to the residents of Oxford and the abuse of power goes on ... Perhaps it’s the ethical conduct of the Board that needs to be reviewed."

Dee February 11, 2014 at 07:00 AM
Thank God for people like George Temple. I happen to know Derek Watt since he was a little kid growing up in Oxford. Since he was a little boy he has always wanted to work for the Public Works in Oxford. He worked summer help for 2 years and applied many times for the job. 12 yrs later he finally full filled his dream. God Bless him. And shame on you Anne for making a big deal out of a kid that grew up in Oxford that got the job that he has waited for all his life.
Bonnie February 11, 2014 at 07:13 AM
I've never heard so many adults complaining about a town and the people that live/work in that town before. It seems that the residents here just can't stay calm and live their lives without complaining when something doesn't go their way. There's so many grown people lately that are doing nothing but teaching our children to make a fuss when something goes on that they don't like. It seems like we've got a lot of spoiled brats living in town! Ok, you file a complaint, it's reviewed, it's thrown out.... Can't you leave it at that? What would these people do if they went to McDonalds and got the wrong order (that happens to me all the time)? Are they going to complain and file complaints with the company? Probably not... So why make such a stir in the town you live in? There's a huge problem no a days with adults whining when something is done that they don't like, well people... Wake up, the world (town in this case) doesn't revolve around you, not everything goes your way all the time! Stop, breath, keep calm and carry on!! Just my opinion!! By the way, I do not know any of the parties involved in this more recent stir, I'm just voicing my opinion as an outsider with no personal relations with any party.
kathy johnson February 11, 2014 at 07:55 AM
The Democrats in this town are going down in flames. Ann Krane should step down. I received a phone call last night from MADR who is not pleased with my comments on patch. I have not returned her call and do not intend to speak with her. I have apologised enough. She should put on her big girl pants and suck it up. I have said all along that this ethics complaint was going no where and it will make the Dems look like fools. I am sure we will hear from Pinch Hitter soon.
Bonnie February 11, 2014 at 08:12 AM
@kathy Johnson No one should be calling you over your personal opinions that you post here on the patch. If someone is going to call you over your posts had better make sure that their hands are clean before pointing fingers. I don't understand why people just can't carry on... No life? Bored? Then they should get a dog! They obviously need the companionship if they get that upset with you! It's your given right to speak as you feel fit (aka freedom of speech)!!! Have a great day! Hold your chin up as you are voicing your own opinion, that's what we all do here on the patch comment section!
Joe Blow February 11, 2014 at 08:46 AM
Justice served, move on.
kathy johnson February 11, 2014 at 08:57 AM
Bonnie February 11, 2014 at 09:34 AM
@kathy johnson No need to thank me but you are very welcome!! I also welcome the Wyatt's to plow our roads on Thursday!! Lol !! I've made my fair share of enemies here but it is time for some to graduate to pull-ups from diapers! Ditch the baby bottle and grab a wine bottle! Hehe!! Happy day to you dear!!
JYD February 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM
@kathy... At least you could get a call from MADR. She never called me back when she was in office.
Realist February 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM
I don't have a dog in this fight, but the hiring was a clear case of nepotism. The real question is what can you expect from a dinky, backwater town run by a cadre of good ol' boys? The voters of Oxford had the chance to elect a different administration but chose the status quo. I guess they're easily satisfied. Maybe, some day Derik's kid will get hired. Then we can call it a dynasty and that has a better ring to it.
kathy johnson February 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM
JYD I'm LOL. You made my day.
kathy johnson February 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM
Realist, There are lots of relatives who work together in our town. Both Ds and Rs hired them. I am interested in why you chose to live in a dinky back water town and if you do not live in Oxford why do you care? Perhaps if it bothers you so much you should get involved in politics and become one of the "good" guys. In the case of public works the Director does not hand out the asignments there is a protocol that is followed and a union in place that protects the employees. If there is any violation the other employees can file a grievance. Why should a qualified person be banned because he might be working for a relative. This hiring of Watt's son who is well qualified might not pass your smell test but others could view not hiring someone because they are a blood relation as as prejudicial act. This ethics complaint was as political as it gets as it was entered by the Chair of the ODTC. Using the excuse as Krane did that she filed as a private citizen does not happoen to pass my smell test.
kathy johnson February 11, 2014 at 12:47 PM
Bonnie you get it. You see there is just so many times you can support a person or a political party if you believe they are doing the wrong thing. I do not believe that the end always justifies the means. I have held my noise too many times, tryed to make ammends and have been told not to express myself on Patch . Nothing changes. Some say I am airing dirty laundry, well I am free like anyone else and I am free to speak. Some will praise me and others will not. I accept that fact but I have to live with myself.
Bonnie February 11, 2014 at 12:53 PM
@kathy Johnson Kathy, don't let these ignorant people get you upset! All they want is to create waves and get a rise out of the people that just want to move on. Personally people will never ever look at things the way we do (logically). It's obvious that someone needs some cheese with the "Whine"! I have a saying that I used to say to my kids..."wine comes in a bottle, not in a 12 year old", boy isn't there a lot of people that can wear that on a T-shirt? Lately that's all I'm hearing is whining... Wawa...it's laughable how many adults whine and cry when things don't go their way. I wish people would admit they were perhaps wrong, out of line or barking up a wrong tree but I guess we can't have that since there's always got to politics involved. This one just back fired but like usual a different person or group of people are to blame instead. So what I'm saying is even tho I don't know you, I don't want to see you getting upset over ignorant people that can't keep calm and move on. Don't worry, there's nothing wrong with your sense of smell, this entire situation smelled like cow pies from the start (just a little dig to that someone that thinks we live in some back country, inbreeding town!) Just smile it makes everyone wonder what you're up to!!! :)
kathy johnson February 11, 2014 at 02:25 PM
Bonnie you have been kinder to me (and you have never met me )than some of the people I used to call or think were my friends. My faith tells me I should humble myself and take it. It baffles me that some can behave badly and get away with it all the time and they are defended. Very few have ever defended me. No one rode in on a white horse to save me as they have done for Anne Krane and MADR. All that I did for the Dems is forgotten. When I was First Selectman my own people faught me every step of the way. I was even told that I was not smart enough to lead the town. I dont stay where I am not wanted. As Jesus said to his deciples do not throw pearls to swine.
Ed Rowland February 11, 2014 at 04:14 PM
Kathy,I have always felt you were a wonderful women and friend.One of the reasons I don't want to be involved is the battering that goes on whether you are right or wrong someone will be unhappy.I love the town of Oxford but the politics of the last 10 years or so turned me away.I have only met Ann Krane a couple of times and she seemed nice enough and I am good friends with MaryAnn and John.You feel free to speak your mind whenever you want to.
kathy johnson February 11, 2014 at 06:45 PM
Ed I respect your view and your friendships with others. I consider you a wonderful peaceful man and a friend. There is no need for you to take sides I could never ask you to do that. To not falt me for speaking my mind is fair on your part. After all we all learn our lessons the hard way. I am prepared to take my knocks. The Greeks say that words can break bones. Broken bones in time can heal. You are the type of man that can walk away and hold your tongue. I was not blessed with that gift.


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