Ambulance director resigns

BROOKLINE – Ambulance Service Director Lee Duval is no longer employed by the town of Brookline, resigning her position following an investigation into the department.

Duval’s resignation was made public last week by the Board of Selectmen. There was no reason for given for the resignation. The town will now have Janice Watt serve as interim director while decisions are made about the future of the position.

Town Administrator Tad Putney on Monday confirmed that Duval resigned.

Brookline officials have generally kept mum on the situation, not explaining the need for the investigation into the service. Records obtained by The Telegraph show that Brookline paid $14,270 to the Manchester firm Cook, Little, Rosenblatt & Manson starting in September. The town hired Andrea Chatfield, a lawyer with that firm, on Sept. 25 to investigate “certain allegations” also known as the “Concerns” in regards to the Ambulance Service.

Under the terms of the agreement between the town and Chatfield, the attorney was to be paid $375 an hour in order to conduct the investigation and issue a report to town officials. Earlier this month, Putney denied The Telegraph’s request to release the report Chatfield prepared for the town.

“As for the report completed by Andrea Chatfield, our position is that it, and matters pertaining to internal personnel practices, are exempt from disclosure per RSA 91-A:5 IV,” Putney responded via email when The Telegraph requested a copy of the report.

According to payment records, the town paid Cook, Little, Rosenblatt & Manson $2,500 on Sept. 25; another $913 on Oct. 23 and $10,855 on Nov. 20.

Chatfield’s work may lead to more legal action, according to the letter of agreement between the town and Chatfield. The agreement covers the work Chatfield and her firm will do, in part, to prepare “for and participating in any outside investigation, administrative proceeding, mediation, arbitration or litigation in connection with our investigation into the Concerns.”

The Brookline Ambulance Service is a municipal nonprofit service providing ambulance coverage for Brookline and Mason, and uses mostly on-call volunteers.

Duval has been with Brookline since 1994, starting as a paramedic, before eventually becoming the service director. She also worked for the Wilton Ambulance Service as a paramedic starting in 1985. Duval retired from the Wilton service in May 2017.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or dfisher@nashua or @Telegraph_DF.