Oxford Town Manager Resigning Amid Alcohol-Related Allegations

The Oxford town manager who has been on paid administrative leave following allegations of drinking on the job is resigning.

Oxford Selectmen are accepting the resignation for Town Manager Brian Palaia, who failed a surprise alcohol test on a Thursday afternoon last month, according to NBC10 Boston's Karen Hensel.

The decision was announced Tuesday night in the Board of Selectmen meeting.

The Selectmen have come up with a severance package of which the details are not known. 

They also voted to change the locks to Town Hall as soon as possible "after many employees moved on."

The Board will not comment because it is a personnel matter.

The news of Palaia's resignation comes a little over a week after NBC10 Investigators revealed an exclusive look at the allegations the town manager was facing.

The Oxford Selectmen had met in a hastily-called closed session last Tuesday morning to talk about Palaia's future, but they would not comment on any decisions or timeline on the fate of the town manager following the meeting.

“I cannot comment,” Oxford Select Board Chairman Dennis Lamarche said after emerging from the 90-minute meeting Tuesday.

He also would not comment on NBC10 Boston’s breaking investigation into Palaia’s drinking, including town documents laying out the selectmen’s concerns he was drinking on the job and driving the town car drunk.

When Lamarche was asked if he thought Oxford residents would want to know what was happening, he said, “Sure they do and they will know eventually. That’s all I can say.”

NBC10 Boston's exclusive investigation came after NBC10 Boston Investigators obtained executive session minutes from a November meeting that detailed the selectmen’s concerns about Palaia’s drinking. Those showed that they agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding that included provisions for random testing for alcohol and warnings that any violations, or resistance to testing, could result in his termination.

Oxford hired Palaia as town manager in 2015, and renewed his contract last summer. It took effect in February.

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