Fifty Shades Darker in Rockland
Town hall video shows nothing steamy, no apparent coercion
Investigators hired by the town of Rockland concluded Selectman Deirdre Hall pressured Town Administrator Allan Chiocca into having sex at town hall after moving on from an “intense emotional and physical affair” with Edward Kimball, the chairman of the Board of Selectmen.
Hall had already called off her run for state rep and her lawyer said she is resigning from her selectman’s post. The fate of Chiocca, who has been on paid leave since the scandal first surfaced six weeks ago, will be decided at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting Tuesday. Kimball has already been ousted as chair of the board, and may now be the target of a recall effort. Hall, Chiocca, and Kimball are all married. (For a timeline of earlier events, check out Fifty Shades of Rockland.)
The board released only a two-sentence statement from private investigator Regina Ryan that rejected Hall’s assertion that any sexual activity between her and Chiocco was non-consensual because she was intoxicated. “With respect to the allegation that Ms. Hall violated the town’s discriminatory harassment policy,” Ryan wrote, “I substantiate Mr. Chiocca’s allegation that on May 1-2, 2018, Ms. Hall used her position as a member of the Board of Selectmen, who was actively reviewing and would soon be voting on his request for a contract extension and salary increase, to pressure him into engaging in sexual activities with her.”
Town officials did not release Ryan’s full report, but the Patriot Ledger said it obtained a copy of the 29-page document from Chiocca’s attorney. “Although not inclined to accept Ms. Hall’s advances, Mr. Chiocca was concerned that if he thwarted her advances, she would not vote in favor of his contract extension and his increase in compensation,” the report said, according to the Patriot Ledger.
The board on Wednesday released surveillance video obtained from five locations at the town offices. The video showed nothing steamy. In fact, Hall and Chiocca keep their distance from each other on the video, touching each other briefly only a couple times. Hall at times appears unsteady on her feet, but she doesn’t seem incapacitated. The video has no sound, but neither Hall nor Chiocca give the impression that they were being coerced, which presumably means the town’s investigators based their conclusions on interviews with the individuals involved.
The video shows the two of them pulling up in a vehicle that appears to be a pickup truck. They entered town hall at 11:46 p.m. and proceeded directly down a hall to the bathrooms. Chiocca emerged from the men’s bathroom first, and was then joined by a wobbly Hall, who put her head in her hands as she talked to Chiocca.They then headed out to the parking lot, stopping halfway to their vehicle and talking for about 10 minutes face to face. At the end of their chat, Hall headed toward the pickup truck and Chiocca headed in the opposite direction, towards Town Hall. Hall appeared to change her mind a few seconds later and followed Chiocca. He stopped just before entering the building, allowing her to catch up, and then they entered town hall together and entered an office and closed the door. Chiocca emerged a few minutes later to look for Hall’s purse. He first checked his vehicle and then the ladies room, where he found the purse.
Chiocca returned to the office with the purse and then he and Hall remained behind closed doors for close to two hours. Chiocca emerged with his tie undone, hanging loose around his neck. He went to the bathroom and then was joined in the hallway by Hall. The two of them exited the building, with Chiocca walking well ahead of Hall. They returned to their vehicle and drove away.