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Chief Glavin Tries to Shed More Light on Lavender at Selectmen's Meeting

Chairman Larry O'Brien explains why he needs to exit from the meeting before discussion of the Lavender incident on May 9 begins.

Sudbury Police Chief Richard Glavin appeared at Tuesday night's meeting of the Board of Selectmen to discuss on Boston Post Road regarding an incident on May 9, when several town officials were found to be present in the establishment past the time it was supposed to close, according to the terms of its liquor license.

"As I indicated at the last meeting, I have recused myself from any discussion involving Lavender," said Selectmen Chair Larry O'Brien, who has admitted to being present in the restaurant on the night in question. "When you recuse yourself, it is required that you leave the room. On that note, I will leave the room at this time."

The meeting was then turned over the Selectman Robert Haarde, who agreed that "leaving the room is the appropriate thing to do. I'm sure you've seen people recuse themselves, and then join the crowd, but in fact the appropriate thing to do is to leave the room."

"The penalty phase is over," Haarde said, referring to the written warning that was issued to Lavender's shortly after the violation. "We have now moved into the resolution phase."

"We need to move on as a community. We are all in this together," said Selectman John Drobinski. He previously said he was present at Lavender earlier in the evening, but stressed that he left before any violation occurred.  He offered no public comment but offered to personally call a resident who wondered why he was the subject of a brief missing persons report on May 9 and explain his whereabouts at the time. At the last Selectmen's meeting, Drobinski refused suggestions that he should also recuse himself from any discussion of the case.

"I want to make sure that everyone is on their best behavior. Please no chatter or references to any other matters, criminal or otherwise, or any kind of personnel matter," said Haarde, in an apparent reference to , who was present at the gathering at Lavender following the Town Meeting.

That accident has been the subject of concern among residents, who have asked why town officials whom they suspect of having known that Rust allegedly had too much to drink did not prevent her from driving. It is her third time facing OUI charges.

"I try to stay consistent with what we have done in the past. I didn't want to overdo it, I didn't want to underdo it," Glavin said, regarding the warning letter he sent to Lavender's, which he said was the same as would have been received by any other business accused of the same violation. He said liquor license violations occur infrequently in Sudbury, and in cases where businesses have received warning letters regarding a violation, they corrected the situation without a second incident. 

He also noted that he feels that an incident involving the serving of alcohol to an individual who is younger than the age of 21 is more serious than the serving of alcohol to an individual older than 21 past the allowed hours.

"We're reasonable. If someone is three minutes past the time, we just make our presence known," said Glavin, who stressed the good relationship the police department works to maintain with the community and with businesses. He said a cruiser driving past a parking lot often serves an effective reminder that closing time has come.

"This is Sudbury," Haarde agreed.  "We don't want to live in a police state, where someone is getting handcuffs slapped on them for being a few minutes late."

Haarde said owners of Lavender are on vacation in Maine this week, but have expressed a willingness to attend a future Selectmen's meeting to answer any questions about the incident, which has sparked

"There's a whole bunch of behavioral issues going on here," said resident Brian Semple, who wondered why it took two drive-bys by police cruisers before town officials who previously claimed that they "simply lost track of time" cleared out of the business. "I think the town is owed an apology for this."

"RECALL," resident Bob Stein wrote out on a yellow legal pad.

Carl Anderson June 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Why were there no questions or comments about the handling of the accident, the missing person report or the apparent staffing issues within the Police Department made by Chief Glavin.... Do we really need to know the Police work with the town businesses and do a drive by as a reminder it is time to close and stop serving or that the letter served was standard procedure and standard language??? Am I missing something or have a different perspective on this situation?
SkimThreePercent June 27, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Those questions were not allowed; however some of them are answered in the police report which can be found on the Lavendergate Facebook page. I too was surprised that the Chief left out all conversation between the Sargent and O'Brien after O'Brien remarked at 1:45 AM when they finally gained inside access "Can I help you?". The conversation continued back and forth beyond that getting into the nitty-gritty but for reasons unknown, the conversation was not disclosed by the Chief last night. I suggest you go to the Lavendergate site and download the report. Clearly there are many more questions that need to be addressed. Haarde claims they are going to hunt down Fong who has conveniently left the State to try and get him to come to the next meeting to take the fall for O'Brien and his pals. Forget about Jake, this is Chinatown.
Rob June 27, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Carl, the scope of the meeting was on Lavender. The missing person issue was brought up and the feedback was it was a personal matter. The story was that John and Maureen left together from Lavenders around the same time when he went missing. And it was of a personal matter.
M June 27, 2012 at 02:10 PM
The take away from the meeting is that there is no forum to hold the BOS accountable for their actions. In my opinion, this is all going to fade away because of that. However, it proves once again that the only option is to vote for change when the opportunity arises.
Rob June 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM
It does make one wonder when a "personal" issue becomes a town issue. If personal relationships\issues are between employer and employee I would say that is a pretty big conflict of interest when pay raises and contracts come for votes.

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