WILMINGTON, MA — Monday night provided the craziest ending to a Wilmington Board of Selectmen’s Meeting that I can remember. It began with a Selectman who is running for re-election calling out another candidate’s wife. And it got weirder from there…
McCoy’s Levels Accusation Against A Candidate’s Wife
“It’s out there and people are starting to notice,” began Selectman McCoy during his portion of ‘Board Members Questions and Comments.’ “I want to read something that appeared in [Sunday’s] Lowell Sun’s Political Column:”
Post-debate, one of Loud’s supporters traded sharp words with a departing McCoy in the WCTV lobby.
“The Loud supporter to whom the article referred to was candidate Ed Loud’s wife, Doreen,” continued McCoy. “After Mrs. Loud got up in my face, yelling at me, I immediately turned to Officer Dindo and asked him to please escort me to my car. As I was departing the WCTV building along with the officer, Mrs. Loud screamed out at me for the entire room to hear, ‘You’re gonna lose! You’re gonna lose!’. I responded back, ‘Well, I’m not part of the in-crowd’.”
McCoy noted he had a prior run-in with Mrs. Loud back in June 2016 after McCoy and Ed Loud exchanged words during a Selectmen’s meeting.
“As I departed into the hallway of Town Hall,” recalled McCoy, “I saw Mrs. Loud and her mother, Marilyn Cox, walking quickly towards me. Mrs. Loud again was in my face, yelling at me, chest to chest, finger in my face. Within moments, Officer Chalifour and Officer Axelrod were in the hallway. I made a request to the police officers to escort me out to my car because I did not want to be accused of something I did not do. This can all be verified by the Wilmington Police Department.”
McCoy stated he’s never encountered such behavior before during his long tenure on the Board of Selectmen.
“It’s an unspoken, but strictly followed rule in politics – you don’t attack spouses or family members. You do battle in the political arena, and then you go about your business. In all my 27 years as a member of the Board of Selectmen, I have never experienced the wife of a candidate or elected selectman aggressively lash out at me like Mrs. Loud.”
McCoy stated that while he’s not endorsing Kevin MacDonald, he’d prefer if MacDonald was elected on April 22, instead of Ed Loud.
“Based on my own personal experience with the two candidates over the past year, I feel I could work better with Mr. MacDonald. With Mr. Loud and his family, there has been nothing but anger, confrontation and aggression toward. I have never once had an angry exchange with Mr. MacDonald. This is by no means an endorsement, just an observation. I have always been willing to work with anyone as long as they have the best interest of town at heart.”
McCoy claimed not to be afraid of Mrs. Loud, but rather any unsubstantiated accusations she could make.
“To be clear, I am not afraid of Mrs. Loud, but I am afraid of what she may say and possibly accuse me of something I did not do. This bothers me. I don’t want to deal with this aggravation with Mr. Loud and his family for the next three years if he’s elected.”
O’Connell Expresses Disgust Over McCoy’s Remarks & Behavior
Selectwoman Judy O’Connell, presiding over the last few minutes of her very last meeting, felt she needed to speak up.
“I feel compelled to state that I’m particularly troubled that you’re bringing your campaigning into this room and it leaves someone else not in this room without the opportunity to defend herself,” began O’Connell.
“You’ve really crossed the line in a lot of ways…I think it’s unfortunate that you’d speak about another candidate’s wife when they’re not even here. To come in here and have a one-sided conversation and get your last shots on TV and get them out in public when someone isn’t even here to have a counter statement, you’re not fighting fairly.”
“I don’t understand why you choose to bring these political discussions into this room when you’re campaigning should take place outside of Room 9. It’s REALLY not appropriate. Not appropriate,” O’Connell later added.
O’Connell pointed out that McCoy has continuously voted to approve Ed Loud’s terms on the Board of Appeals. (He’s a 14-year member.) McCoy also handpicked Ed Loud to serve on the Yentile Farm Development Committee. (Each selectman were allowed to pick one resident to serve on the Committee.) O’Connell noted she never met Loud until their work together on that committee.
O’Connell then turned to McCoy’s recent allegations against her — that she waited “until the last minute” to announce she wasn’t seeking re-election in order to help Loud secure a seat on the board.
“Respectfully stated, or not respectfully stated, I have no statutory or legal requirement to say when I’m going to run and the reasons why I am or am not going to run… For you to say I’m doing a dirty trick, the door was open for people to run. People pulled papers and did not return them. I’ve made no hesitation to anyone who asked me what my intentions were. I announced it through Robert Hayes (BREAKING: Selectwoman Judy O’Connell Will NOT Seek Re-Election This April, dated February 21) & social media… You still attacked me, but I took the high road because I wasn’t going to get down in the gutter and roll around with you over it.”
“You, sir, are not the moral compass of how I’m going to conduct myself,” O’Connell told McCoy.
“Forget about the smart phone,” responded McCoy, referring to Wilmington Apple and social media. “[Your announcement] appeared on March 1st on the front of the Town Crier.”
“To which the Town Crier knew previously,” shot back O’Connell. “That’s when they chose to write it, but that’s not when they knew about it… Have you verified with the Town Crier that that’s when they knew about it?”
“And the problem is,” continued O’Connell, “you’re misinformed, Mr. McCoy. You’re the last to know because you’re using the Town Crier as your one communication outlet.”
“I don’t need to report to you when I’m running or not running. People in this room can attest to the fact that they knew well before March 1,” added O’Connell.
An Exchange For The Ages
“I’m just lining up all the dots in a row. I’m just pointing out what’s going on and you don’t like that,” McCoy told O’Connell, trying to show residents that his four colleagues are backing Loud, and not him.
(For the record, none of McCoy’s colleagues have actually hid the fact that they’re supporting Ed Loud. Their support has been public.)
“I must be doing something right to be here for 27 years. And I’ve never had people lash out at me like this. Never,” said McCoy, shifting the conversation back to his earlier accusation.
“So take an ad out in the Town Crier and say it there. Why do you have to use this pulpit in order to do that?,” responded O’Connell. “Your comments are completely out of order. I’m ruling you out of order.”
McCoy then brought up some comments that O’Connell had directed at him at a past Selectmen’s Meeting.
“I never said to you that you’re the most disingenuous person I ever met, but you said that to me,” McCoy said to O’Connell.
“You ARE the most disingenuous person I’ve ever met and I stand by that,” responded O’Connell.
“I never said to you, that ‘I don’t like you, but I’ll work with you,’ but you said that to me,” McCoy said to O’Connell.
“That’s right. I DON’T like you, but I will work with you,” responded O’Connell.
“I never said to you that I want you to lose an election. You said you hoped I lost this year’s election,” McCoy said to O’Connell.
“Everything you stated… I still feel that way today…. Here’s the thing. Ed Loud IS my candidate. He’s the only candidate, in my opinion, that should be [considered]. Because he’s the only honest candidate out of the three of you. You’ve lied before and you’re lying now,” responded O’Connell.
“I’m not lying,” said McCoy.
“You are a liar,” responded O’Connell.
O’Connell then questioned some of the logic used in McCoy’s accusations, asking that if she really had it out for him, why didn’t she run against him and recruit another candidate to help unseat McCoy?
O’Connell also didn’t understand why McCoy holds her responsible for three initially interested candidates not returning their nomination papers, and why other candidates didn’t ultimately emerge.
“So, 23,000 people aren’t running because I [might have run for re-election]? You must think I’m pretty important and you must think you’re pretty important… You’re pretty presumption with the fact that you and I would have walked away with [the election].”
Caira & Champoux Have A Turn, Bendel Ends The Madness
McCoy questioned if O’Connell recently spoke at Ed Loud’s campaign rally, to which O’Connell responded, “I absolutely spoke in favor of Ed.”
McCoy then questioned Selectman Kevin Caira if he spoke at Ed Loud’s campaign rally, to which Caira responded, “Absolutely.”
Caira, however, had a point he wanted to make to McCoy.
“But Michael, didn’t you have times when you have a physical altercation with a former Selectman years ago? I mean, what is that all about? If you’re going to talk about things like [altercations], let’s go back to when you had an issue with Bob Cain… You made a statement about never having an altercation before and you were wrong.”
McCoy noted that an altercation with Bob Cain happened almost 15 years ago to the date, also two weeks prior to an election he was running in. And McCoy noted he won the re-election and, the following year, residents voted Bob Cain out.
“Well, they voted the wrong person out,” retorted Caira.
“If you don’t want to parade your police record out for the public to see, I’m trying to help you,” O’Connell chimed in. “This is out of order.”
Approximately 15 minutes into the conversation, Selectman Greg Bendel made a motion to adjourn the meeting early, prior to the Town Manager’s traditional reading of upcoming important town dates.
Immediately prior to the adjourning, however, Selectman Mike Champoux made a plea to his colleagues that campaigning can no longer be tolerated during Selectmen’s Meeting.
“Kevin, Greg and Ed, when we reconvene and decide who will be our next chairman, political campaigning in this room has to be a no-go. I don’t care who the chairman is, but we can’t allow for campaigning in this room… This is where we govern, not campaign. I’m not going to stand for it. If I sit in the chair’s seat, whoever campaigns in this room is going to get kicked out of this room.”
In The Parking Lot
Ed Loud’s wife, Doreen, and mother-in-law, Marilyn Cox, briefly spoke with reporters outside of Town Hall after the meeting. Loud, who entered Room 9 at Town Hall a few minutes before adjournment, and Cox both strongly denied McCoy’s allegation regarding Loud’s post-debate behavior. Loud said she was simply trying to speak with McCoy, but he essentially blew her off. Loud said she never screamed “You’re Gonna Lose,” but was rather trying to have a conversation with McCoy to understand why he’s behaving so negatively towards her husband. Doreen noted that her family used to be family friends with the McCoys and she used to babysit McCoy’s children. She said doesn’t understanding where McCoy’s hostility is coming from.
Watch The Meeting
Watch the meeting, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below. Fast forward to 2:20:41 and wait for the drama to begin:
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