Ossipee—December 7, 2017—Carroll County Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius has ordered a temporary restraining order against Camp Sokokis owner Dianne Sheehan. The order, signed at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 5, prohibits Sheehan from selling the property to anyone other than Town of Ossipee, at least until the court can hear the charges selectmen have made against her.
In the complaint, filed with the court Dec. 5 through Town Attorney Richard Sager, the board of selectmen asked for “temporary restraining order, preliminary in-junction, damages, and other relief,” alleging that Sheehan entered into a purchase and sales agreement with them in August 2017, but then engaged in an “overt public campaign” to defeat the purchase.
The court filing asked for the temporary order and stressed the urgency of it. If Sheehan is allowed to sell to the buyer that selectmen believe is waiting in the wings and willing to pay more than the $1.2 million offered by the town, the complaint states, “it is possible the Town will be denied its only opportunity for a town beach on its namesake Ossipee Lake for its residents” as there are no other available parcels of land with sufficient space for a town beach.
The complaint accuses Sheehan of two things – breach of contract and fraud – alleging she waged a war of words against the town and its selectmen, actively worked to bring defeat to the Nov. 28 special town meeting vote, and that those actions were “designed to benefit her at the expense of the Town.”
The complaint charges that Sheehan’s negativity was given extra weight because she is the seller of the property, and was consequently more convincing to undecided voters. The Town suffered, the complaint alleges, by not having a fair vote clear of Sheehan’s interference and by spending money on legal fees and related costs to negotiate the purchase agreement, petition the court for a special town meeting, and all related meeting costs.
The complaint spells out the facts used to support the town’s charge Sheehan committed fraud. Allegedly, Sheehan, after receiving legal advice, entered into the purchase agreement and then had a “sudden shift” from being in favor of the sale to being adamantly against it. The complaint states that Sheehan fraudulently induced the Town into the sales agreement and then changed course for the sole purpose of jacking up the price others would be willing to pay for the property.
Sheehan and her husband, both residents and registered voters in Ossipee, were at the Nov. 28 meeting and vote and stayed to hear the vote results. Attempts to get a comment from them about the results were unsuccessful. They declined, as they had several times throughout the past few months, to go on-the-record, citing their attorney advising against it.
The judge’s order requires the court clerk to schedule a hearing on the complaint within ten days in Carroll County Superior Court. As of press time, the hearing date and time was not available. The temporary restraining over also expires in 10 days.
Subscribe to the Carroll County Independent by clicking here.