Ossipee Selectmen Allege That Camp Owner Tried to Undermine Purchase of Beach

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.

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  1. Leah 7 years ago December 8, 2017

    So let me get this straight. In August a purchase and sales agreement was signed. This p&s was drawn up by the town lawyer. It included some stipulations like keeping the camp ground, keeping the birch trees, keeping the name of the road. Other contingencies were that the town needed to have a special vote on spending 1.2 million and that it had to be 2/3 in favor and the deadline of this p&s is December 31, 2017.
    In September, the selectmen were saying that the revenue from the camp and boat slips would pay off the bond and they were publicly thanking and praising the Sheehans for their generosity numerous times.
    Then in October Dick Morgan announces that if the sale goes through, they are going to get rid of the campground and boat slips entirely, which I believe goes against the p&s agreement, which would be breach of contract. Right?
    So the special vote happens in November and out of the thousands of registered voters in ossipee, less than 500 show up to vote and only 63% are in favor of the purchase which means the town will not be spending 1.2 million on a town beach. The moderator and two selectmen count the votes and the town lawyer was monitoring the count that night.
    So now, because the town beach was voted down, Dick Morgan first wants a recount, I guess Freeman and the other two women can’t count. Then he wants to hold another vote because not everyone heard the meeting that night? There were many other public meetings for people to attend if they wanted to. Plus, since when do you have to hear the meeting in order to have your vote count And to top it all off, the Town of Ossipee is now suing the Sheehans for breach of contract and fraud? The same people who were repeatedly called generous and upstanding citizens by the selectmen. OMG!!! This is appalling. The selectmen need to look in the mirror and see exactly who breached the contract and who are the frauds. SHAME ON YOU!!!

  2. Patrick 7 years ago December 8, 2017

    The town of Ossipee just sunk to a new low.

  3. scott 7 years ago December 8, 2017

    So this is how it goes….You lose the game,now you want to cry foul and want a do over??
    That’s NOT how the system works! Sad to see the town didn’t get the beach…..There is no blame here…THE VOTERS HAVE SPOKEN…..MOVE ON!!
    Good luck in court…I don’t see a case here….ridiculous!!!! Lets NOT forget the 1st amendment….

  4. Shawn Murray 7 years ago December 8, 2017

    Only in Ossipee NH. Lester Currier and the Sheehan’s supported this community over many years (financially and with their heart and soul) and now one person is allowed to continue to waste the taxpayers money in legal fees. The only injunction that should occur is the taxpayers voting this guy out of office. Just as interesting is how the courts can get involved in a civil matter that has not even gone through the legal process itself. Only in Ossipee NH.

  5. Mellisa Seamans (Reporter, Carroll County Independent) 7 years ago December 8, 2017

    The first hearing is scheduled in Carroll County Superior Court (Ossipee) December 12, 2017 at 9:00am. The hearing is open to the public.

  6. Patrick 7 years ago December 8, 2017

    I agree with Shawn. If I’m not mistaken, I remember seeing the Sheehan’s donate to the town fireworks as well as the Center Ossipee Fire Dept boat parked on their docks. I’m sure they don’t charge the town to park the boat there. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Selectman should be ashamed of themselves.

  7. Tom 7 years ago December 8, 2017

    If the town had an objection to what was going on, or thought something underhanded was happening, why wait until after the vote to bring it up. They could have tabled the vote until they resolved whatever issue they have.

    The town also seems to have breached the P&S with some of their plans.

    This whole process has been ugly from it’s inception and much of that lies at the feet of the Ossipee selectmen. Some of their statements regarding opposition are simply appalling.

    Just so I understand, it’s un-American to privately voice opposition yet totally American to sue when you lose. Sounds about right for that town.

  8. Keith 7 years ago December 8, 2017

    Shouldn’t this be a private hearing. Just the lawyers that would be a fair thing if select men can go i don’t think it will be a fair . This is horrible it got to this .he keeps saying last chance for beach Well if he fought 15 years ago for that beach we would not be doing this now. Poor Mrs Sheehan that she has to be put though this. He said of two votes no then so be it well let it be.

  9. Rick 7 years ago December 8, 2017

    So to the residents that think this is so great, what is your plan of defense when Rick Morgan and his hand puppets come after your private property?

  10. Bill Winter 7 years ago December 9, 2017

    I would like to take the opportunity to summarize a few items regarding the town beach to make sure I understand who has breached the contract and committed fraud. I attended a homeowners association meeting (BLBA) in July where selectmen Morgan let us know the town had an opportunity to purchase property that could become a beach for the town. Without knowing any facts about this purchase & sales agreement, myself and others in attendance voted positive with respect to the residents of Ossipee deserving to have a town beach. At a later date it was announced the town had an agreement to purchase Camp Sokokis and the town would take on the responsibility of managing the camp ground and the town beach on the property. I said to myself do they know what they are getting involved with? Then on Oct 30th I went to a special meeting held by the selectmen regarding the potential purchase. At this meeting selectmen Morgan made it clear the town would allow some of the renters to stay until 2020. When he was asked why the town did not accept the possibility of receiving a parcel of property which included 90’ of water front beach for free he indicated that one of the reasons was the lot did not allow for enough parking. This lot is 90’ x 375’ and the first 120’ from the road could accommodate between 24 and 36 parking spaces before any wet lands. Once I understood this fact I felt selectmen Morgan was not telling the complete story. It was at this point I believed selectmen Morgan was not doing what was in the best interest of Ossipee residents and the tax payers. To me it is very clear who breached the contract and committed fraud and it is not the Sheehan’s. Selectmen Morgan you have no one but yourself to blame for deceiving the voters of Ossipee. Please stop wasting the tax payers money and do the right thing for the residents of Ossipee.

  11. Leah 7 years ago December 9, 2017

    I don’t know who Bill Winter is but I want him as a Selectman! Logical, well-spoken, truthful. That’s what Ossipee needs!

  12. scott 7 years ago December 9, 2017

    What’s going to happen when the Sheehan’s counter sue???? This is going to end up costings the tax payer’s at the selectmen’s expense!!! The town should do the right thing here,and try to save face. I’m sure the Secretary of State is looking hard that this…as is other well known independent groups…This is making the whole town look bad…..WE will be remembering this come election time…

  13. Linda 7 years ago December 10, 2017

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! Richard Morgan has shown his true colors. He is nothing short of a full grown bully! First he claims the boat slips will pay for the bond . Then when residents voiced their opinion that the town should not be getting involved in running a campground he admitted at a town meeting that he changed his mind and they won’t be keeping it a camp ground which is against what Diane wanted and I believe stipulated in the purchase agreement. Who breached the contract? I’m confused here. An upstanding extremely generous resident that has done nothing but good for this town is ripped to shreds by a town selectmen! Let’s not forget Diane also offered to give the town a parcel of land with the beachfront at no cost to the town. I’m sorry I smell a rat and this town is looking really bad right now. I never have or never will vote for Richard Morgan to be a part of anything to do with representing this town. I would also like to point out how adamant he is to get this property and I believe he has an ulterior motive. Read between the lines it’s very clear. I’d also like to say he’s been running around town very angry since this vote. Kind of like when a child doesn’t get what they want. He is very intimidating to many residents.

  14. Charlie Smythe 7 years ago December 10, 2017

    The good in all of this? Morgan the bully is no longer wielding power as the police chief. The bad in all of this? Morgan the bully is now wielding power as the selectman chair. The common denominator of this town remaining the laughingstock of Carroll County? Richard Morgan, regardless of the hat he is wearing…..

  15. Rick 7 years ago December 10, 2017

    There is still time for the Town of Ossipee to regain control of this situation. They headed toward humiliation and potentially significant financial damage. Rick Morgan’s personal agenda has been defeated, now he is will to do anything to make sure that everyone feels his wrath. He has lied about the plans for the property since the beginning, and now is lying about a private citizen, verbally and in print ( slander and libel). Chairman of the BOS is not a position of God
    Iike power and status, regardless of the current occupants opinion. Stop the nonsense, drop the frivolous litigation, stop harassing private citizens, and if you have to have any more emergency elections, make to replace your entire BOS.

  16. Greg H 7 years ago December 11, 2017

    Does anyone really have full knowledge of all the facts? Until all the facts are revealed judgement should be reserved. The Court will decide what the merits are and render a judgement on what the outcome will be. Not a fan of comments made from assumptions or hearsay. I hate to see anyone being labelled without full understanding of the situation. Patience. We all will have access to the information as it will have to be made public. In my opinion it is best to wait and see everything before pointing fingers.

  17. atony 7 years ago December 12, 2017

    Isn’t this the way our politicians/government behave these days??? Is anyone really surprised???
    If a party or politician does not agree or even like the way the people vote they immediately go to court and cry foul. From there the lawyers play word games or try to fabricate unique interpretations of laws and create a haze of confusion where there is none. It almost looks like a fun “game” for the lawyers. That behavior has now trickled down to the small local towns. And the judges are all to willing to hear the politicians cry.
    However, and this is incredibly amazing to me, when the people of Ossippe want to ban together for a class action against the town they are told by the NH state supreme court that……they refuse to hear the peoples case. We are going to see more and more of this type of disregard for the peoples voice unless these officials are flushed out of the system. DRAIN THE SWAMP EVERYWHERE!!!!

  18. Bill 7 years ago December 12, 2017

    12/12/17 – The 9:00 AM Carroll County Superior Court hearing scheduled for today was postponed at the last minute. The new date for the town selectmen and their attorney to make a fool of themselves is January 4, 2018 at 9:00 AM. All the judge needs to do is read the original purchase and sales agreement and it is very clear who has breached the contract and committed fraud!

  19. Louise 6 years ago December 19, 2017

    I watched the Selectmen’s meeting from 12/18/17. The Sheehan’s are being sued by the Selectmen and they (the Selectmen)are trying to say it’s not personal. Meanwhile the Sheehan’s reputation is being questioned because the Selectmen won’t accept the fact they didn’t get the 2/3 vote. Upstanding senior citizens who have done so much for this town are being sued because these Selectmen can’t accept defeat. I’m sure this would not be happening if the vote had gone the other way. It was a legal democratic vote, and anyone who really wanted their vote to count waited in line until it was their turn, and were able to vote. Those that chose NOT to stay and vote, that was their decision, no one forced them to leave. It’s not any different than any other election. People choose whether they want to vote or not, and if they decided not to wait in line, that’s on them. There shouldn’t be a revote because of those few that decided to leave rather than wait their turn, and the Sheehan’s shouldn’t be getting dragged through a lawsuit because of a lost vote.

    For those residents that say they couldn’t make an informed decision because they couldn’t get into the building to hear what was being discussed. This beach has been discussed at every single Selectmen’s meetings since the first public informational meeting at the end of October and before that as well, leading up to this vote, where anyone could have attended to ask the questions they wanted to ask, or they could have watched the video’s as I’ve done. They had plenty of opportunity to make their “informed” decision.


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