PERU — At Monday night’s regular selectmen’s meeting, Town Clerk Vera Parent announced that the town has received $3,910.63 from the old Recreation Committee’s account and $350.89 from the Friends of the Peru Elementary School.

This closes out the Recreation Committee’s account and reimburses the town for funds given to FPES by the committee. The funds were put in a special recreation building fund account and can only be accessed through action by residents.

Selectboard Chairman Jim Pulsifer said that he did not think the town has clear evidence that there has been criminal misconduct in the handling of the Recreation Committee’s funds and recommended not pursuing the matter further in court.

Selectman Lee Merrill said he personally felt the Recreation Committee should be held accountable, but agreed that pursuing the matter was a poor use of town funds.

Peruvians for Honest Government member Dawna Kazregis said the town should make an example of the former committee and take it to court.

Pulsifer said that if he had evidence that Tim Holland had embezzled money, he would go after him. He pointed out that in the past, the town has given funds to numerous organizations without asking for an accounting — the former Recreation Committee was not a formal town committee, and it did provide recreational activities for the town’s youth.

Pulsifer suggested that if PHG has evidence of embezzlement, they should take it up with the county attorney.

Kazregis said she had evidence that Holland had sought reimbursement for payments to the Calvert Ripken Babe Ruth League after the town clerk had paid the bill directly. Pulsifer said he and Parent would investigate, but he suspected it was payment for different years.

Resident Warren Oldham said of Holland, “He’s got problems coming — big time.”

Pulsifer said that the mowers that had been donated to the Recreation Committee were now town property.

Kazregis said that she had evidence that people were improperly charging gasoline to the town and were using the Fire Department washing machine for personal laundry.

Selectmen voted their support for an article on the town warrant to form a new Recreation Committee that will be under town control.

Selectmen secretary Angela Barkhouse presented a letter from the county, indicating that the webpages of many Oxford County towns have an incorrect phone number for the Sheriff’s Department. The proper number is 1-800-733-1421.


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