Marion Selectmen to Pickles: Resign as town clerk
MARION — The Board of Selectmen sent a letter to Town Clerk Ray Pickles on April 2 requesting that he resign after he was indicted for six counts of larceny on March 18.
The indictment alleges that Pickles misappropriated more than $675,000 from the Carver Marion Wareham Regional Refuse Disposal District, where he served as executive director for 45 years.
Pickles was fired in February 2018 after financial irregularities emerged in the Waste Disposal District’s finances.
Subsequently, the District filed a civil lawsuit against Pickles, his wife Diane Bondi-Pickles and an associate, Robert Tinkham, charging them with fraud, conspiracy, improperly possessing money, improper use of power, and violating consumer protection law.
The civil case is still ongoing at this time.
Attorney General Maura Healey and the Inspector General Glenn Cunha also began investigating Pickles, leading to criminal charges filed by a state grand jury.
Pickles is scheduled to be arraigned at Brockton Superior Court on April 12.
The full text of the letter follows:
On March 19, 2019 the Town received word that a statewide grand jury handed down indictments against you and another individual alleging criminal wrongdoing. Specifically, these indictments allege that you misappropriated in excess of $600,000 of funds from the Carver Marion Wareham Regional Refuse Disposal District.
The Board of Selectmen is deeply troubled by these allegations. We acknowledge the presumption of innocence enjoyed by all criminal defendants. However, we believe that effective public service requires that each and every public official must hold him or herself to a higher ethical standard. It is difficult for any elected official to perform their sworn duties while ensnared in the controversy and mistrust arising from such criminal proceedings. These accusations, if ultimately proven true, constitute a staggering abuse of public trust.
In the interest of maintaining transparency and restoring the trust that our residents expect and deserve we request that you immediately tender your resignation as Town Clerk of the Town of Marion.
Thank you for your attention to this request. We look forward to hearing your response very soon.
Norman A. Hills, Chairman
Randy L. Parker, Vice-Chairman
John P. Waterman, Clerk
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
Pickles has formerly served as the Town Administrator for Marion, and also held a town management position for the Town of Gosnold.
The maximum penalty for larceny is five years imprisonment, or a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for up to two years.
Also at risk if Pickles is charged in the criminal case is his state pension and his pension from working with the Waste Disposal District.