Kittery was unfair to Chuck Denault

Thank you to the Portsmouth Herald for the heading. Thank you to the 5 members of the DPW who showed courage to share their support for me and help set the record straight! They are the real heroes for trying to fix Kittery!

Portsmouth Herald Editorial

Kittery was unfair to Chuck Denault. We support him.

Oct. 18 − To the Editor:

We, the undersigned former Kittery, Maine, town employees, support Chuck Denault and his candidacy for election to the Kittery Town Council. Though much has been written by the Portsmouth Herald regarding his abrupt departure from the Kittery Town Council in 2021, very little was published pertaining to the employees that he assisted during that tenuous time.

We would like to take this opportunity to tell our side of the story. When our many and varied individual complaints to our direct supervisor, human resources and ultimately the town manager regarding theft, hostile work environments, retaliation, harassment, co-workers sneaking out of work when the boss was not there, time card fraud, nepotism and mismanagement along with an assortment of other complaints were not resolved or even believed, we had no one left to turn to except Councilor Denault. He advised us that he would personally take the information to the town manager per the town charter. This was well within the scope of his duties as a town councilor and our rights as employees.

Councilor Denault always looked out for the citizens and employees of Kittery and in order to assist us, tried to fix the wrongdoings to benefit those who were subjected to unfair treatment. He was trying to protect us while doing his job as a town councilor. As a direct result of us reporting bad behavior, the retaliation started and among other things, we were told that we could not speak to Chuck nor voice our concerns to the public. This ultimately led to our resignations, one by one, including Chuck’s wife. These were not easy decisions to make. Some of us had over 15 years of employment with the town of Kittery.

Over the past few years, there has been an obvious downturn in morale and a not so stellar reputation of Kittery’s management practices. From multiple town employees moving on to other employment, to the residents becoming divided, the effects of the management problems have been clear and well articulated yet ignored. They were clear then as they are today. It was devastating that the town manager knowingly disciplined the wrong people while we were trying to do what was morally right.

What happened to Former Councilor Denault was unfair and the accusations were not true. The information he brought forward is accurate. He defended us, tried to do what was right and was true to his oath and obligations. If you could see what we saw happening inside, away from the public’s eye, you would truly support Mr. Chuck Denault in his candidacy as we do.

Daniel Upton, Robert Hames, Daniel J. Colbert, Terry McDonnell, Shawn Tapley