LEOMINSTER -- Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella defended his decision to enter into a personal relationship with the city's economic development coordinator, saying his typical "18-hour days" leave him no time for a personal life outside of work.That's all. Just a hard-working lonely guy who only leaves city hall to sleep, so if he's going to have affairs, the only place to have them is in city hall. To make it more interesting, he sends emails back and forth with his partners using his official email account. Like this one exchange with Ms. Vallee:
"What you have here is simply a guy who works all day who basically met two people ... in the matter of 17 years," Mazzarella said Thursday afternoon during a telephone interview that his private attorney sat in on. "I didn't plan on the second one, but it happened and when we realized it was serious, we kept it professional."
Mazzarella insisted he has done nothing wrong and hasn't violated any city law or policy and believes his decision to date Lisa Vallee, the city's economic development coordinator -- after having a long-term relationship with another city employee and his former secretary, Stacia Venturi -- hasn't hurt his ability to manage other City Hall employees, nor did it put the city at any legal risk.
"(City employee) came in here and asked me for a hug ... ugh, didn't want him to feel these boobs so I kept it quick," Vallee wrote in the e-mail. "He said he missed me, he's weird but we knew that already. I'm thinking of you, can we talk direct later tonight after ur council stuff. 10 p.m. ish or whatever."Awwww. Isn't that sweet? Frankly, I'd like to find out more about this creepy city employee who cruises city hall looking for hugs so that he can feel the ladies' boobs. Seems like having a serial harasser in city employ might warrant a follow-up investigation from the Sentinel.
Mazzarella, according to the e-mails provided, replied at 11:03 a.m., "He is weird. (Portion redacted). We can talk sooner if you want. You can call me on your way to see your kids. 4 p.m. Before you go to PTO is fine. Or you could call me when you get out. I stay in my office until I have to go to council so just call me on my cell. Does any of that work?"
And then Vallee responded to Mazzarella, "Nice. 4 p.m. is good. I will absolutely call you to hear your voice at 4 p.m."
The Sentinel has published a handful of the emails (in keeping with the Sentinel's policy of finding a way to screw something up in every story, they've run them out in an html file instead of scanning them and posting PDFs, so good luck). Looks like Mazzarella was also carrying on conversations with his ex at the same time, for what that's worth.
But the best part of the story might be found at the end of each email. In the one email the Sentinel did post as an image, the signature lines of Mayor Mazzarella and Ms. Vallee include the slogan "Leominster: Ready for You!"
"Ready for You" indeed!