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April 2, 2013

No vote on investigation into solicitor's text

(Continued)

McQuillan defended the city against several lawsuits Solomon filed after he was fired in 2008. Civil Service eventually reinstated Solomon as chief, though the City Council had voted to cut his salary. On Thursday, the council voted to pay Solomon $100,001 to resolve a federal suit claiming his termination was retaliatory.

A Superior Court suit seeking back pay is still pending.

During his interview before the City Council March 26, D’Agostino was asked by Councilor Jamie Atkinson about a last-minute revocation by one his work references, Lawrence District Court Clerk Andrew Gradzewicz.

“This is news to me,” D’Agostino told the council.

McQuillan, who was watching a live Internet stream of the interviews from his home, sent a text message from his work cell phone to D’Agostino at 6:53 p.m.

“That’s a lie he tried to contact Gradzewicz today!!!!” McQuillan wrote.

In interviews last week, McQuillan admitted to sending the message. The wording of the text suggests that McQuillan may have meant to sent the message to a councilor, but he said he meant to sent it to D’Agostino.

After the text and D’Agostino and Ciulla’s call for an investigation, several councilors suggested that McQuillan should vacate his position, asking during last night’s council meeting whether an interim solicitor can fill in until a new solicitor is hired.

Mayor Stephen Zanni said the charter does not provide for an interim solicitor, and requires that the current solicitor stay in his post until a successor is appointed.

Follow Douglas Moser on Twitter @EagleEyeMoser. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.

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