Robert R. Nichols recall, Blandford, Massachusetts (2010)

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A vote about whether to recall Robert R. Nichols from his position as a Selectman in Blandford, Massachusetts, took place on April 17, 2010. Nichols retained his seat in the recall election.[1]

Defeatedd Votes to recall Nichols: 159

  • Votes to keep Nichols: 212

The effort to recall Nichols was supported by former Selectman Andrew Iglesias, current Selectmen Chester Broughton and Theodore Jensen, Town Clerk Staci Iglesias, former Tree Warden Michael Wojcik, Tax Collector LeeAnne Thompson, Highway Commissioner Brad Curry, Stephen Jemiolo, Mark Blanchette and Jared Heeter.[2]

In 2009, Nichols discovered that Michael Wojcik, one of those who went on to seek his recall, was paid about $20,000 over a 10-year period by Northeast Utilities to supervise tree clipping in Blandford. Anthony J. van Werkhooven, a former Selectman, said that Wojcik is paid by the town for tree clipping and was in Florida during some of the billing periods in question. Van Werkhooven and others have suggested that the recall is in retaliation for this discovery.[2] At a forum about the recall in early March, "people in attendance expressed outrage at the tactics employed by petitioners seeking the recall."[3]

Pornographic email

Several recall supporters have said that their motivation for wanting to remove Nichols from office is that in the summer of 2009, he sent a pornographic email from his home computer to a Yahoo account used by Blandford's highway department.

Nichols initially denied sending the email but eventually said that he did it and apologized, saying, "There was an email that contained adult material that was sent to a perceived, and what I believed to be, a personal email. This was a mistake in judgment on my part that will never happen again."[2]

"The primary purpose of making this error in judgment public was to humiliate me in public and cause me to resign from office," Nichols added. Van Werkhooven contends the real reason behind the censure was Nichols' discovery last year that Michael Wojcik, the former tree warden, and his wife, Rayma Wojcik, were paid nearly $20,000 over a 10-year period by Northeast Utilities for supervising the clipping of trees, a job for which Michael Wojcik, who van Werkhooven said was in Florida during some of the payment periods, also is paid by the town.

References

Snip of recall.PNGMunicipal Government Final.jpg This municipal government recall article needs to be updated.