Selectmen seek job update from town manager

The selectmen have asked outgoing Town Manager Rick LaFond to clarify his employment status as they negotiate with his successor. 

The board recently voted to extend LaFond’s original severance agreement to keep him on as an at-will employee past April 30 to help manage the transition. But one of the selectmen in Carver, where LaFond is set to become the interim town manager, said in a Facebook post that LaFond’s contract began April 18. 

“We are aware of the issue,” said Abington Board of Selectmen Vice-Chairman Tim Chapin. “We had agreed to terms with Rick and we’re following up on the situation [via town counsel].”

LaFond has not responded to Abington News’ inquiries.

Selectman Kevin DiMarzio said he expects LaFond to be at Abington Town Hall on Tuesday morning. (Monday, April 20 is Patriots Day, a state holiday.) 

“He’s under contract with us through April 30 as our full-time town manager,” he said.

LaFond’s original severance agreement required him to notify the town if he found a new job, according to one selectman who asked to speak anonymously to discuss contractual issues. LaFond had not done so as of Sunday.

“As far as I can see, hes still working for the town,” said Selectman Ken Coyle.

The uncertainty over LaFond’s employment status comes as the selectmen negotiate a contract with Scott Lambiase, currently the director of operations in Duxbury and a former selectman in Whitman. The board voted April 6 to hire him, but had wanted to keep LaFond on during the transition to help manage the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for a more conservative budget next year.  

The extension with LaFond has been approved by the board but not yet fully signed and executed. The board is expected to discuss the matter during its meeting Wednesday night.

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