Planning Department Staff Members Resign Following Town Investigation

Jason Graziadei •

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Two Nantucket Planning & Land Use Services (PLUS) Department staff members have resigned following the conclusion of the town's investigation into an undisclosed "internal personnel matter."

Town manager Libby Gibson identified the two employees who resigned as Esmeralda Martinez and Adrian Rodriguez but declined to divulge any details of the investigation. Martinez is a member of the Nantucket School Committee who was reelected by voters to a second term in May.

Both Martinez and Rodriguez were placed on leave from their positions with the town in February and remained so until last month when the town's investigation concluded. It is unclear if it was paid or unpaid leave.

Martinez worked as a compliance coordinator and land use specialist assigned to the Historic District Commission, while Rodriguez was an administrative specialist. Both declined to comment on the situation.

The Current asked Gibson about the investigation, including what specifically the town was looking into, the results of the investigation, if any wrongdoing was discovered, and if the staff members were given a choice to resign or be terminated from their position with the town. 

"I am not at liberty to make the details of a personnel investigation, public, with respect to your questions," Gibson said. "The employees are Adrian Rodriguez and Esmeralda Martinez. It is public that they have resigned."

Gibson had previously responded to an inquiry by the Current regarding the length of the investigation, as well as how long the employees had been on leave - nearly five months - and if their absence was impacting operations at the PLUS department.

"Employee-related investigations vary in length of completion depending on a variety of factors, including, as here, the number of witnesses to be interviewed and the number of documents to be reviewed," Gibson stated. "The staff at PLUS has worked diligently to maintain a high level of customer service, with as little disruption to the public as possible, while the investigation is ongoing. In order to do so, employees have been working additional hours and fulfilling the job duties necessary to keep the permitting process on track for applicants."

Planning & Land Use Services Department director Leslie Snell said Wednesday that the two positions have not yet been filled and that the town is evaluating how that process will go forward.

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