As the Sudbury Board of Selectmen meeting extended past 11 p.m. on Tuesday, , with several other town officials, past the time the business was supposed to close according to the terms of its liquor license. He said he lost track of time and regrets the attention the case has drawn away from other important issues.
Rust, who was charged with OUI in two previous case, faces arraignment on the third charge on June 27. She was cited after allegedly striking two signs and a granite post in the early morning hours on May 9.
O'Brien said he has been advised by a lawyer to recuse himself from any discussion about Lavender and promptly exited from the meeting. Selectman John Drobinski declined to recuse himself, because he said he left Lavender earlier in the evening and was not present for any violation. Town Manager Maureen Valente also decline to recuse herself, pending further discussions with attorneys.
Vice Chairman Bob Haarde urged them both to reconsider, and sharply criticized Valente for not arranging to have Police Chief Richard Glavin present at the meeting to discuss his recent letter to Lavender about the case.
"You're personally acting to preserve your own interests, and you cannot do that in your official capacity," Haarde said during one of several clashes with Drobinski. He noted that the town could face liability for Rust's case if the Lavender gathering is determined to be an official town event.
"How many times do I have to state that I wasn't there (at the time of the violation)?" Drobinski asked, accusing Haarde of conducting "a witch hunt" on the issue.
"This is not going to go away," one resident told the Board as a nearby church rang 12 bells at midnight. "It's not going to go away in a week, it's not going to go away in a month."