I-Team: Freetown official retires amid investigation into conduct

The Board of Selectmen in Freetown said Friday that Paul Bourgeois retired as the town's building inspector and health agent.

According to a statement, the retirement was effective Friday.

Sources told the NBC 10 I-Team that selectmen would not reappoint Bourgeois who has served the town for 26 years and 20 years as building inspector.

Residents and business owners complained Bourgeois' management style and alleged attitude cost them time and money on residential and commercial projects.

Some complained the inspector, who was being paid $75,000 a year, was too close to contractors he was paid to supervise.

The I-Team found a real estate deal where Bourgeois and a partner made a six-figure profit from a local builder he was paid to supervise.

Bourgeois declined several offers to be interviewed by the I-Team.

He did, however, release a statement through an attorney denying the allegations. According to the statement, he followed the law and filed conflict of interest letters with the previous Board of Selectmen.

Bourgeois also said he is a carpenter and often rehabilitates old properties.

However, the deal in question was land, not a structure.

Building department records show Bourgeois continued to sign off on future projects for the contractor who was part of the six-figure deal.

A separate town investigation into Bourgeois' conduct will not go any further, according to the press release.

Freetown business owner Dick Padelford said Friday's announcement was the result of town residents coming forward.

"It took a lot of courage," he said.

As far as the independent investigation report being compiled by a retired police officer, Padelford said the findings should be released.

"I would like to see the report made public. Residents will pay for it and have a right to see it," Padelford said.

Sources told the I-Team the investigation cost the town approximately $10,000.