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Ethics Tosses Compaints After Beck Officially Resigns from Board of Ed

With Greg Beck's resignation officially filed, the Board of Ethics rendered the complaint hearing moot.

Greg Beck (left) with his attorney Brian Parrott (right) at the Jan. 9 complaint hearing. Photo Credit: Aaron Boyd
Greg Beck (left) with his attorney Brian Parrott (right) at the Jan. 9 complaint hearing. Photo Credit: Aaron Boyd
The Board of Ethics moved to throw out two complaints against former Board of Education (BOE) member Greg Beck at the start of the complaint hearing Thursday morning as Beck’s official resignation from the BOE was submitted earlier in the day.

Beck sent an email to BOE Chairman Scott McCarthy and A Brookfield Party (ABP) Chairman Rob Gianazza Tuesday stating that he intended to resign and submitted his letter to the Town Clerk’s Office at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Beck’s letter simply reads: “Please accept this as my formal resignation from the Board of Education effective immediately.”

The two complaints filed asked that Beck be forced to step down from the BOE due to a comment he posted on a Facebook post asking for 26 days of kindness leading up to the anniversary of the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Beck received pressure from the community, Republican and Democratic party leadership and his own board to step aside and chose to do so earlier this week.

“Once that happened, both complaints and the circumstances surrounding them were moot,” Board of Ethics Chairman Alice Carolan said Thursday.

The Ethics Board found probable cause on both complaints due to the fact that Beck is also employed by the town as an emergency dispatcher, however the nature of the complaints specifically referred to his role as a member of the BOE.

“We’ve never had this happen before,” Carolan said, adding later that she is “pleased for Mr. Beck that this has been resolved in the way that it has been resolved.”

“I thank Mr. Beck for doing the right thing,” Sherri Keefe, the first complaintant, said after the Board of Ethics rendered their decision. “I really appreciate that.”

Nancy Lincoln, who filed the second complaint, echoed Keefe’s thanks, turning to speak to Beck directly.

Beck sat silently through the brief proceeding and afterward directed questions to his attorney, Brian Parrott.

Parrott maintains that there was no legal basis for the hearing, as probable cause was determined based on his position with the police department and not his status as a then-candidate-elect to the BOE.

“As asinine as Mr. Beck’s comments were, they are protected under the 1st Amendment,” he said, noting that any ethics consideration was “clearly about his dispatcher position.”

Despite that legal challenge, Beck ultimately decided to resign rather than act as a hinderance to the BOE, according to Parrott.

“He attended two meetings as a member and it was clear that he was serving as a distraction,” Parrott said.

When asked about potentially running for an elected position at a later date, Beck said that would “definitely be a decision for the future.”
gjtino January 09, 2014 at 01:06 PM
Did the lawyer really say Mr. Beck's free speech rights were protected under the 2nd Amendment?
Aaron Boyd (Editor) January 09, 2014 at 01:08 PM
No, he said 1st Amendment. That was my mistake and has been corrected.
Wondering January 09, 2014 at 01:31 PM
The lawyer is full of it. Nobody stopped Beck from speaking. He can talk all he wants. The people just held him accountable for what he wrote.
Concerned January 09, 2014 at 01:41 PM
Even Beck's own lawyer referred to his comments as "asinine"
The Watcher January 09, 2014 at 02:33 PM
You know the kid is young, hes gonna say stupid stuff. It's too bad we wont be able to hear his voice on the BOE with good things he could have contributed. He should be pressured to resign for doing a poor job (after being given the chance) and not because his joke material is geared toward the imbecile demographic.
The Watcher January 09, 2014 at 02:45 PM
I guess I just don't see what pressuring him to resign really solved in this matter, I don't get the justification.
rich saluga January 09, 2014 at 09:40 PM
There is no justification to the small mob rule, except to create a distraction and then blame someone for the distraction. Sadly, the media and others appeared to get manipulated into jumping on that bandwagon. It wouldn't be surprising if it was also an attempt to do an end around the election results, and get one of the losing candidates appointed to the Board. Let's see who the Board chooses, then we'll know...
Gretchen Wells January 09, 2014 at 10:48 PM
I think Greg Beck created the distraction for Bill Tinsley. I don't think any of the Brookfield community members had any part in helping Greg makes that "asinine" statement or did they help Bill Tinsley deceive the voters of our town. I think they did a pretty damn good job screwing things up themselves.
rich saluga January 10, 2014 at 12:04 AM
Part of the small mob rule strategy is making up things like the post above that have no factual basis. That's part of creating the distraction. Thanks for validating my earlier comments.
Townie January 10, 2014 at 10:53 AM
Great outrage and indignation over a Facebook post, yet criminal trespass, stealing signs, unaccounted for tax dollars (BoE) all slide under the moral radar of our town. Tells us a lot about ourselves our ethics and our treatment of others.
Eric January 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM
When is the ethics hearing scheduled for Mr Tinsley?
Glenn Brown January 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Townie - none of those things have fallen off anyone's radar. You also forgot to add "A First Selectman's embezzlement charges" on your list. No one should forget that.
JM January 10, 2014 at 11:59 AM
Eric, I think the Board of Ethics was meeting today

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