The dispute between Seekonk Selectman Dave Parker and Anne Rogers, the town's executive assistant, came to an end Wednesday night when he apologized for allegedly slandering her at the May 30 Board of Selectmen meeting.
It is not clear if Parker's apology was genuine because he said more than once during Wednesday night's selectmen meeting that he had no reason to offer an apology.
"I am more than willing to apologize if I said anything that was an attack on her," said Parker in response to Selectman Bob McLintock's statement that it appeared Parker would not apologize. "If you know what I said [on May 30], then you know full well it was not an attack on her."
Rogers alleged that Parker slandered her May 30 when he read out loud email exchanges he had with the Boston Passport Agency in which he was following up on why the selectmen's office had not been granted the right to issue passports. For the office to be allowed to do this, Rogers had to pass an online test. Parker said at the meeting, "[Rogers] took that test as you know, and she passed that test. And it's been over a year since she passed that test."
This statement, Rogers said, implied she had lied about passing the test. Parker has denied that was his intent, and insists he was actually defending her.
[Go to listen to Parker's May 30 statements.]
Board of Selectmen Chair Francis Cavaco on Wednesday read an email out loud in which Parker called the complaint against him "a lynching." He did not back down from the use of that word.
"In my opinion what I am going through here tonight is a lynching," Parker said.
Rogers clarified on Wednesday that she did not want Parker removed from the board [although a town attorney said that would not be possible], but rather that she wanted an apology and respect for her and other town employees.
"We do not need to be slandered," Rogers said.
After several vibrant exchanges between Parker and McLintock and well as commentary from the other selectmen, Parker said, "I apologize." Rogers then thanked him.