Fairhaven BOH Chairman Guilty of Cost...

Fairhaven BOH Chairman Guilty of Costing Town Money

Posted in the Boston Forum

Jack Kelly

Jamestown, RI

#1 Sep 6, 2013
Fairhaven Massachusetts


Endorsement: Fairhaven Board of Health
DeTerra to blame for costing town money

September 06, 2013 1:15 PM
I am writing to clarify the outright mistruths that are printed in newspaper advertisements of Peter Deterra, who claims that John Wethington cost the town money in the lawsuit over the validity of the election. Let me be perfectly clear ... THE ONLY PERSON WHO SHOULD RIGHTFULLY CLAIM RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LAWSUIT COSTS, OVER THE APRIL ELECTION, IS PETER DETERRA. Immediately upon learning of the irregularities in the first election, John Wethington suggested to Peter Deterra that there be a new election for the Board of Health, simultaneous with the Senate election, to save the town money. Peter Deterra refused to compromise, even though he knew that the original election results were suspect.

It was immediately clear after the first Board of Health election that the integrity of the results were in question, as the town clerk was observed after hours illegally recounting votes, after swearing in John Wethington, as the winner of the BOH election. This was a clear VIOLATION of LAW, and put the integrity of the entire vote in question. When the clerk later noted that Peter Deterra appeared to have more votes after her unlawful recount, the town had a dilemma. Who was the lawful winner? Later we had an official recount, and more problems with the election were realized. The voter check-ins did not match the voter check-outs, and the ballot box tallies, did not match either number. How could anyone claim victory by one vote? But Peter did, and he again refused to compromise, and again refused to agree to a new election.

It was only due to Peter's steadfast refusal to agree voluntarily to a new election, that John Wethington filed a lawsuit to protect the constitutional rights of those residents who voted for him in the election, to assure that their votes counted. You all know the results of that lawsuit, the Superior Court Judge called the election "a disgrace." Peter Deterra could have avoided the lawsuit by voluntarily agreeing to the new election. But Peter refused to compromise. Now we are having a special election for the Board of Health on September 9, 2013, because Peter Deterra refused to be reasonable. So Peter Deterra is the true person to blame for the costs of the lawsuit. He could have compromised from the beginning, and there would never have been a lawsuit!

John Wethington stood up for the rights of the voters in Fairhaven, by bringing the multitude of election irregularities to court, for a judge to review. Every voter in Fairhaven should be proud that John Wethington cared enough about their votes to have the Fairhaven election process, and the results of the Board of Health election reviewed by a Judge. We are talking about voters rights - the foundation of our democracy. If the town clerk had done her job, that she is elected to perform correctly, the case never would have gone to court. And knowing the problems with the April election, if Peter Deterra had compromised, and agreed to a new election voluntarily, there never would have been a lawsuit. So if anyone cost the town money, the blame belongs with Peter Deterra and the town clerk. I am setting the record straight, because I am the attorney that represented John Wethington.

Residents of Fairhaven, please vote on September 9, 2013. The last election clearly shows that every vote counts. It is your right and your responsibility.

Ann Ponichtera DeNardis


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