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Watertown council dispute goes public

Posted by Erica Noonan, Globe West April 24, 2008 06:20 PM

Already facing an impending court date, Watertown Town Councilor Marilyn Pettito Devaney is at the center of another controversy.
(Globe file photo)


Town Council President Clyde L. Younger says he may take out a restraining order against Councilor-At-Large Marilyn Petitto Devaney after receiving a hand-delivered letter from her that he said "verges on slander and is libelous."

Younger gave council members copies of Devaney's letter, which was also obtained by the Globe.

"She has always been writing these nasty little notes and leaving them at the door," Younger said." He said Devaney's behavior dated back to when he first joined the council in 1997.

Today Devaney called the letter "personal," and criticized Younger for making it public.

Devaney said she was "venting" to Younger about being removed from the council's public safety subcommittee, and about not receiving a chairperson's position on another committee as the other councilors have, among other slights.

"I was tweaking him," Devaney said. "The notion that I'm harassing him is so far-fetched."

The pair has publicly sparred over a variety of issues, with Younger often gaveling Devaney down and ruling her out of order. Devaney, in turn, has said Younger doesn't give her an equal opportunity to speak on issues.

It's not the first time Younger has declared he might bring in outside help to deal with his troubles with Devaney. In 2006, Younger threatened to hire a sergeant-at-arms to remove Devaney from the floor because of what he deemed her disruptive behavior.

In an unrelated matter, Devaney is scheduled to go on trial next Thursday on felony assault charges for allegedly assaulting a Waltham beauty supply store clerk with a curling iron during a dispute over a purchase last year.

-- Christina Pazzanese

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