Residents Call for First Selectman to Resign After Taking Oath

Residents speak out during the first public comment session for the new Board of Selectmen.

Thirteen Brookfield residents took the opportunity to speak during the public comment section of Monday’s first meeting of the new Board of Selectmen (BOS), all of them in reference to charges lodged in Vermont against newly elected First Selectman Bill Tinsley.

Tinsley pleaded ‘no contest’ to a larceny charge on Nov. 26 and received an 11-month deferral of sentencing, at which time his record will be expunged. (A felony embezzlement charge was dropped as part of the deal.)

He has called the charges “frivolous” on several occasions and maintains he is innocent of the allegations.

Four of the speakers urged the town to unite behind the new board and move forward, however the majority called for Tinsley to step down, citing a lack of trust in the community.

Many also stated that they believe the Democratic challenger for First Selectman, Howard Lasser, would have won the race had news of the charges surfaced before Election Day.
Tinsley delivers introductory message after swearing in.

Tinsley and the two Selectmen — Marty Flynn and Bill Davidson — sat quietly throughout and did not address any of the statements after public comment or during the regular meeting.
Ryen December 03, 2013 at 07:52 AM
Better to have an elected First Selectman running around town stealing private citizens' property and trespassing...THAT certainly shows great character, ethics, and a sense of shame...great leadership by Davidson....is that what you call that, mg? Wonder what else we will discover about last term now???
Ryen December 03, 2013 at 07:56 AM
Highly responsible behavior: Davidson - Las ser had nothing to "run" on....so they resort to stealing property out of their strong inner character and strong record? Oh, we will just ignore that!!!!! ;)
Michael G December 03, 2013 at 08:15 AM
I failed to mention that the Robbing the Liquor Store Republicans are also very entertaining here on the Patch as well! Keep it up guys, the RTC just keeps looking more and more absurd with each post you put up here. Do you all sit around and discuss which RTC member is going to handle the Patch comment PR campaign for each article?
Lucia December 03, 2013 at 08:15 AM
Thirteen residents of Brookfield spoke, four of whom called for unity while the other nine (the majority) wanted Tinsley to step down, hardly a rousing number of Brookfield residents to speak for the rest of us. We have to ask ourselves if we want someone who steals political signs or someone who pleads no contest. Neither candidate sounds like an upstanding citizen and it's unfortunate that this is the best Brookfield has to offer. By most of the responses it doesn't look as though anyone agrees with the "majority."
jamie klavans December 03, 2013 at 08:33 AM
I thank all that spoke and represented the majority of us in town that are outraged, ashamed, and disappointed in the state of our town at present. I am sorry I couldn't be there to add my support in person, but unfortunately bedtime took priority.
Glenn Brown December 03, 2013 at 08:40 AM
Lucia - what have you been reading that makes you think people don't agree with the "majority?" A significant number of Republican voters are angry about our First Select-thief's actions, and many have called for him to step down.
Jonathan Williams December 03, 2013 at 08:53 AM
Howard Lasser didn't steal any signs. He was running against Tinsley. Also, we forget, Davidson apologized for the shame he has brought upon himself, his party and most improtantly, his town. Bill Tinsley continues to maintain his innocence. I wonder if he will bother paying the fine and contribution, or perhaps, he will default on that as well.
Glenn Brown December 03, 2013 at 09:59 AM
Caution - Today's post provides no contribution toward reasonable discourse. http://brookfieldpatch.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/thank-you-ryen/
Larry Samuel December 03, 2013 at 12:07 PM
I Pray everyone get's the justice they deserve. Hmm: Wages of sin (any sin) is death. OK Strike that thought, judge not lest you be judged. Hmm: Major Ancient Cultures disappeared after Everyone did what was right in their own eyes. OK that doesn't work. Let's have a Democracy, then the 51% can totally ignore the minority (49%). That's not working well now because leaders of the US aren't embarrassed to ignore our constitution. So what's left? Anarchy, Dictatorship. Not looking to good either. How about being governed by laws and a man is allowed to be judged by his peers. Well we still have Bill of Rights and a legal system. It may not be perfect, but neither is any of us. The Vermont Court has determined a course for justice to be served. Is any one of us above the legal system to negate there judgment? Just remember God is the ultimate judge and we all die (we can fool ourselves with a false piety but not God). There is redemption only through the blood of Christ/Messiah.
Brian Kelly December 03, 2013 at 12:31 PM
Well, Larry, as a church-going man myself, I agree that God is the ultimate judge. But as a Brookfield resident that believes in a secular government "that judge not lest ye be judged" just doesn't work in town government. I'm all for judging guys who plead no contest to larceny and throwing their asses out of office. I'll explain myself to St. Peter when the time comes. I think he'll see my point.
Dr. Robin Appleby December 03, 2013 at 01:18 PM
I was in the courthouse in Vermont. The judge specifically said this was NOT a guilty plea. You give up your rights to contest it. You pay a fine and move on. I will give 2 examples. A local orthopedic surgeon did a successful Carpal Tunnel release (surgery) on each wrist of a patient. The surgery was successful. They patient sued as she didn't like her scars. The doctor had his lawyer plead no contest as he would have lost more money going to court than working....was he guilty...of course not. Years ago my father, a Wilton Pediatrician, recieved a $ 150 traffic ticket from NYC. He wasn't even in NYC that day (or month)....was it worth it to travel to NYC to fight it and miss a day's work ? Of course not.
Ray DiStephan December 03, 2013 at 01:36 PM
The Vermont Supreme court stated the following in State v. Gleason, 154 Vt. 205, 211 (1990): “The nolo contendere or no contest plea is a formal declaration that the accused does not contest the charge against him." " …the plea of nolo contendere is taken as a complete admission of guilt leading to a judgment of conviction. When the court accepts a plea of nolo contendere, it has the same effect in that case as a plea of guilty and authorizes the court for the purposes of the case to treat defendant as though he were guilty. A conviction that results from a nolo plea stands on the same footing as a conviction produced by trial or guilty plea...”
Michael G December 03, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Mr. Appleby, since you travelled all the way to Vermont to support your friend Mr. Tinsley in court, I assume you both must be very close. As a close friend of Mr. Tinsley, a RTC elected official and a current member of the RTC, were you aware of the felony charges against Tinsley before the election? Did you or the RTC agree or advise him to keep the allegations from the public until after the election? Why has the RTC been silent on this matter?
Robert Gianazza December 03, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Ray, repeating yourself doesn't alter the facts. It's like repeating that the incumbent chairman of the board of education didn't get elected. Oh wait, that is a fact.
Ray DiStephan December 03, 2013 at 03:20 PM
You're a class act and such a gracious winner, Rob. I stated a fact and a fact only on the two occasions where Robin chose to post his account of what he heard in Vermount vs what their Supreme Court ruled. And yes... I am no longer a member of the Board of Education and one from your "party" is. How's that working out?
Jay December 03, 2013 at 03:24 PM
^^ there it is again, Rob. More hostility toward your constituents. You make a point and then come across as childish and hostile by bragging and gloating...For what? Here is someone who has dedicated himself and his time to this town and has done what he thinks is best for it. Whether you agree with him or not, that hostility is inappropriate for someone of your position. On top of that, his point could not possibly be MORE factual and conclusive with no opinion stated. Michael G, it seems you are right about Robin and Bill Tinsley being mighty close. Here is more to add to that, check out picture #4: http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Tinsley-takes-oath-pledges-teamwork-5026194.php#photo-5536914
Dr. Robin Appleby December 03, 2013 at 04:11 PM
I think Rob Giannazza is a delightful, intelligent, hardworking person who is a pleasure to have around and who has given an immense amount of time and service to Brookfield. Day after day, we seem to be defending people from the Democrats personal attacks and smear campaigns.....how about you guys cut it out for the holidays ?
Robert Gianazza December 03, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Ray, your comment implies that Dr.Appleby is not telling the truth. You stated a fact, so did I. Your fact attempts to alter the opinion of our neighbors. Mine only points out that our neighbors apparently don't value your opinion.
Robert Gianazza December 03, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Jay, are you attempting to be my Jimminey Cricket? I only offended one citizen, Ray. Or are only some people allowed to be harsh towards others? Ray stated his position and I respected it. When he posted it a second time, it was no longer respectable.
Ray DiStephan December 03, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Well, Rob,allow me to correct you again.... My fact only contradicted what Robin believes he understood about Vermont law according to what the judge said. Nowhere did I say or even imply that he was lying. I just had a different source that said something different from what his source said. Secondly, you are again wrong about my opinion not mattering to your neighbors. Over 1900 said it did matter. In your world, this means not a majority and therefore, irrelevant. That attitude, of course, flies right in the face of the values on which our representative democracy was built. But this is not something you'll agree with until it somehow threatens your beliefs. Finally, your assessment of my position being "no longer respectable", along $1.50, will get you a hot dog at Costco. You may now have the last word as I won't play this petty game with you any longer.
Townie December 03, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Wow! Fun to watch children at play.
Michael Gianfranceschi December 03, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Why was it ok for the people to ask for bill tinsleys resignation but not bill davidson's? If they really beleave he shouldn't serve because of charges two years ago then why should davidson serve for something he did while first selectman? I'll tell you why... Because they are hypocrits. And with all the vitriol on facebook and here on the patch i half expected people to show up with pitchforks and a hangman's rope. Some factions in town have turned into virtual lynch mobs. Pretty disgusting.....
Glenn Brown December 04, 2013 at 10:05 AM
I don't live in a black or white world, do you? http://brookfieldpatch.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/stealing-is-bad/
Concerned December 05, 2013 at 02:01 PM
@michael it is because of the severity of the crime and nothing more. Try as you might, stealing campaign signs (seems like an annual tradition nowadays not that I'm condoning it but I've had yard signs go missing as well and know full well it happens to all parties in this town) is not nor will it ever be on the same level as felony embezzlement charge. Not to mention only one of these 2 individuals which actually arrested for their "wrong-doing". You really think these two are equivalent and therefore there is hypocrisy?
Concerned Citizen December 07, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Tinsley, Beck, and Gianazza are an embarrassment not only to our town, but to republicans who are decent citizens.
Robert Gianazza December 09, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Ray, I was wrong and you were right. A hot dog is $1.50 at Costco.
Emanon Emanon December 09, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Robert, you embody this quote: “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” - Kurt Vonnegut
Lucia December 17, 2013 at 07:24 AM
Glenn Brown - According to this article a significant number was 13, not exactly a rousing disapproval. I'll bet a more significant number of democrats have asked him to step down. You shouldn't speak for anyone but yourself, one of the 13.
Glenn Brown December 17, 2013 at 08:28 AM
Lucia - My use of "significant number of voters" referred to the number of people I've seen posting their disgust on The Patch, Democrat, Republican, and Unaffiliated. Extrapolate those numbers to our town population, and it would appear to be about 3 or 4-to-1 against Tinsley, requesting some action from him, or the RTC, or the ethics committee. 13 people at a BOS meeting voicing their concerns over a single issue is significant as well, but no, I was not one of them. Mostly, THANK YOU, for waiting 2 weeks to reply, and bringing this issue back up. Tinsley and the RTC are hoping it will fade from our memories. We should not let Tinsley, the RTC, or the APB off the hook on this. Can we now refer to you as, Lucia - Friend of the Democrats?
Lucia January 18, 2014 at 01:08 PM
"We would all like to vote for the best man but he is never a candidate." - Kin Hubbard Glenn, neither candidate was qualified, but the majority voted and Tinsley was the winner. Get over it.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something