FREEPORT – Town Councilor Rich DeGrandpre’s name will appear on the town ballot Nov. 8 because fellow councilors have decided that a nomination petition remains valid even though two signatures were discounted.

Councilors voted 3-1 Tuesday to invalidate the signatures of John Skillin and Paul Lowe based on the objections of Freeport residents Sandra and Peter Thompson.

The Thompsons claimed that council Chairman Jim Cassida failed to witness the signatures when he circulated a nomination petition for DeGrandpre, a three-term councilor.

Councilor Eric Pandora filed an affidavit stating that the two men signed DeGrandpre’s petition in Cassida’s absence.

Councilors Charlotte Bishop, James Hendricks and Joe Migliaccio voted to invalidate the signatures; Sara Gideon opposed the action. DeGrandpre, Cassida and Pandora recused themselves because of their involvement in the matter.

Even without the two signatures, DeGrandpre has enough to meet the town’s ballot requirements.

Peggy McGehee, the Thompsons’ lawyer, argued that the two improper signatures invalidated the entire petition submitted by Cassida. Without the petition, DeGrandpre wouldn’t have had enough signatures.

The four councilors unanimously rejected the Thompsons’ objection that Town Clerk Beverly Curry failed to notarize DeGrandpre’s nomination papers. The clerk said it was a clerical oversight.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

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