KILLINGWORTH – Killingworth Board of Selectmen and Region 17 Board of Education member Eileen Blewett has filed a lawsuit to challenge the town attorney’s opinion that she cannot continue to hold both seats, even if she is re-elected to both positions on Nov. 2.
A complaint filed in Middlesex Superior Court this week called on the court to issue an order to allow Blewett to be sworn in and continue to serve in both positions if she is re-elected.
Blewett was elected to the school board in 2017, and was re-elected to that position in 2019. That year, the Republican Town Committee also asked her to run for the Board of Selectmen, and she won that seat as well.
Blewett’s position on both boards wasn’t questioned until July 2021, when she pointed out that the Killingworth Charter Revision Commission had more town officials than allowed by state statute. A written legal opinion from Town Attorney David Tycz confirmed that was the case, and the commission was dissolved.
Town Clerk Dawn Mooney told CT Examiner that opinion from Tycz referenced a member of the Board of Education. Mooney said she asked Tycz for another written opinion clarifying whether he meant a school board member was a town official.
Tycz confirmed that he believed school board members would be considered town officials, and that the town charter stated: “No member of the Board of Selectmen shall, during his/her term in office, hold or be appointed to any other office, board, commission or position of employment in the government of Killingworth, except as may be specifically provided for in other sections of this Charter.”
The Republican Town Committee and its attorney David Cutillo disputed Tycz’s interpretation of what a town official is, and argued Blewett should be allowed to continue holding both seats if re-elected. The RTC also alleged the conflict was a political move for Democrats to retain their majority on the three-member Board of Selectmen, despite not running a candidate to replace outgoing First Selectwoman Cathy Iino.
Iino did not immediately return a message on Wednesday.