Fairhaven Residents Recall Select Board Chair Dan Freitas
FAIRHAVEN — Fairhaven residents have spoken. Select Board Chair Daniel Freitas will no longer sit on the town's highest board after voters decided overwhelmingly to recall him in the July 26 special election.
According to the unofficial election results, out of 2,345 ballots cast, 1,903 were in favor of recalling Freitas, more than four times the 419 votes against.
Replacing Freitas on the Select Board will be School Committee member Stasia Powers, who won with 807 votes against Sustainability Committee Vice Chair Leon Correy III (785 votes) and Public Works Board member Cameron Durant (659 votes.)
Powers will fill in for the rest of Freitas' term, until the 2022 Town Election next spring.
The movement to recall the former chair began earlier this year after a group of residents collected signatures in a petition, citing concerns with Freitas' conduct, which the group described as "abusive" and "belligerent."
Also at issue was his role in the hiring process for the new Town Administrator as well as his involvement in a physical altercation in a town parking lot last year.
Although Fairhaven Police filed criminal complaint applications against Freitas and his daughter following the incident, those complaints were later dropped.
Freitas had previously said he was not worried about the recall effort, calling the movement to unseat him a small group of "angry citizens" whom he believed to be disgruntled former town employees.
"They’re also going to be doing it to (Board of Health chair) Peter DeTerra and (BOH vice chair) Mike Ristuccia,” he alleged in April.
"This town needs to come together," Powers told WBSM's Marcus Ferro on July 19. "We need to have meaningful dialogue."
She added that she "can hit the ground running" and was "looking forward to being the first woman in 30 years to serve on the Select Board."