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Hopkinton town manager left because of pornography incident

Posted January 7, 2009 11:54 AM

By Calvin Hennick, Globe Correspondent

Hopkinton’s former town manager, who resigned in October, left his post because of an incident in which he viewed pornography on a town computer and not because of his nearly simultaneous conviction for motor vehicle homicide, town records show.

Anthony Troiano admitted to visiting a pornographic website at home on a town laptop, according to the minutes of three closed-door meetings that took place in late September and early October. Following a complaint by an unnamed town employee, Personnel Committee chairwoman Kathleen Laflash determined that Troiano had violated the town’s Internet use policy and had created a hostile work environment by viewing the material.

Reached at his East Sandwich home today, Troiano refused to address the documents, which Hopkinton selectmen voted to make public last night.

“I resigned for personal and professional reasons,” Troiano said. “That’s my only comment.”

Troiano was placed on paid administrative leave on Sept. 19, following the Sept. 5 incident. He resigned on Oct. 2, receiving two months of salary and health insurance costs and reimbursement for unpaid vacation.

According to the meeting minutes, Troiano said through his attorney that he was “embarrassed” by the situation and did not dispute that he had used the town computer to access pornographic material. However, he said, he wasn’t aware that he was using the town’s network at the time.

Troiano argued to the board that his conduct did not create a hostile work environment.

According to the documents, Troiano told selectmen that Hopkinton’s town hall had a “fairly liberal” workplace environment, with employees occasionally cursing and discussing movies with adult situations. He called the town’s Internet use policy a “joke,” alleging that other employees routinely used the Web to pay bills or shop during work hours.

Troiano called the town’s investigation into his behavior “a prosecution, not a fact-finding investigation,” according to the minutes. He also accused the town of “making a value judgment” regarding what he does at home.

Around the time that the Sept. 23, Sept. 29, and Oct. 2 closed meetings were taking place, town officials wouldn’t say whether the meetings or Troiano’s paid administrative leave were the result of Troiano’s Sept. 17conviction of motor vehicle homicide. The conviction was the result of a May 15, 2007, crash that killed Lilija Berents, 69, of East Falmouth and left Troiano in a medically-induced coma for four weeks with extensive injuries.

The conviction brought a sentence of two years probation, and Troiano’s license was revoked for 15 years. On Sept. 22, local police cited him for driving on the revoked license.

Troiano wanted to keep his job and said he thought he could continue to serve the town effectively in part because “the public thinks the Board’s executive sessions are concerned with his car accident,” according to the meeting minutes.

However, town attorney Ray Miyares said that the town’s relationship with Troiano was “broken” and recommended that the board move toward ending his employment.

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