Greenfield finance director ousted, City Council calls emergency meeting

Mayor Martin would not confirm if Elizabeth Braccia was fired, stating only ‘it is a personnel matter’



Staff Writer
Published: 7/24/2018 1:08:54 PM

GREENFIELD — Elizabeth Braccia has been removed as the city’s finance director, leaving many questions as to the circumstances.

Mayor William Martin said he didn’t renew Braccia’s contract, but the surprise vacancy and questions about whether she was fired or placed on unpaid administrative leave has the City Council calling an emergency meeting for Thursday.

Martin would not confirm if Braccia was fired or placed on administrative leave, saying “it is a personnel matter” and that Braccia’s “contract was not renewed.”

Braccia was hired in 2011.

In a statement released Tuesday, Braccia said, “I am saddened to my core because I love working for the residents of Greenfield. I take pride in being the watch guard of your tax dollars. I believe this was demonstrated by the integral role I had in getting the Telecommunications (GCET) venture back on track.

“There are no grounds for my dismissal and the due process will reveal the truth, and I believe in that.”

She declined further comment on the advice of her attorney.

City Council President Karen “Rudy” Renaud said tension between Braccia and Martin has been apparent “since the (Greenfield Community, Energy and Technology) explosion.”

Last year, then-GCET General Manager Daniel Kelley was accused of mismanaging the quasi-municipality’s funds, which eventually led to a council investigation and Kelley’s firing. Braccia was one of three city employees who testified at a council hearing on the matter.

Kelley sued the city for $100,000 plus attorney’s fees because of the incident earlier this year.

Renaud also said an issue with a Franklin Pride Day poster being hung in city hall also may have contributed to Braccia’s exit.

Last month, Braccia discussed the removal of a Franklin Pride Day poster from the treasurer’s office in May. Braccia said during the meeting that Martin’s office claimed the poster was removed because it was against the city’s solicitation policy.

According to the policy that was signed in December 2013 by Martin and then-Human Resources Director Dennis Helmus, “solicitation from individuals or business representatives seeking town business or to pitch special offers to town employees is prohibited in public buildings.” The poster made no offers and did not appear to be seeking any business from the city.

When Martin was asked whether the poster incident was a reason for Braccia’s contract not being renewed, he declined to comment, again saying that it “is a personnel matter.”

Martin also said, “I don’t want to say anything that will hurt the city.”

Renaud said the emergency council meeting this week is being held to get a better understanding of the situation.

“We have to find out if, in fact, we really don’t have a finance director, why that is and what the plan is,” she said. “We have a fiduciary responsibility here. This is a major job in town. We don’t know anything other than what we’re hearing.”


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