Just as Seekonk Board of Selectmen Chair Francis Cavaco was about to share his opinions, likely negative, of The Sun Chronicle freelance reporter Joe Siegel, the newspaper's editor asked Cavaco at the meeting Wednesday night if a conversation could take place in private. Cavaco agreed to the proposal, and said he would table an agenda item about Siegel for two weeks.
Cavaco did not specify what he planned to say about Siegel, who has been the newspaper's beat reporter covering Seekonk for several years. The agenda item states, "Chairman to discuss professionalism of Sun Chronicle freelance reporter Joe Siegel."
The selectmen chair recently said in an interview on Jeffrey Starr Mararian's TV9 talk show that Siegel had misquoted him. Cavaco made a similar statement at a selectmen meeting in August, although he did not specify at the meeting who he believed had misquoted him.
Selectman Bob McLintock also complained at the August meeting of frequent accusations, questions and "rumors" coming from an unspecified person through email that had become time consuming for local officials, including Town Administrator Pam Nolan. McLintock also said at the meeting that he had wanted to speak with Siegel, but he had left early. McLintock did not attend the meeting on Wednesday.
Siegel declined comment for this story.
"I had asked Mr. Siegel to be here tonight because I have some recent activities that I feel need to be addressed," Cavaco said on Wednesday.
Kirby, who said he had asked Siegel to leave the room just before discussion of the agenda item began, responded to Cavaco, "Do you feel this should be done at a public meeting? I offered to have a private meeting about this."
Cavaco replied that the private meting was unable to take place because his and Kirby's schedules conflicted. Kirby then said the two could find a time to meet. Cavaco agreed, and said he would call Kirby to arrange a meeting time while the agenda item was tabled.