Capacity crowds fill the East Longmeadow Selectman Meeting Wednesday. Most were there to hear from the one person not in attendance- now former chariman Jack Villamaino. He resigned via email to town officials late Wednesday afternoon.
Villamaino wrote “Due to matters of a personal and familial nature, I am at this time unable to dedicate to the board of selectman the time and effort which it deserves.”
Voter’s weren’t surprised.
“I think it was fully expected. He had no other choice. He’s got a long road to hold ahead of himself,” Joseph St. Germain said.
“If it were me I’d be hiding in a fox hole,” Bob Hildreth said.
Villamaino and his friend Courtney Llewllyn are at the center of a massive voter fraud investigation. Hundreds of forged absentee ballot applications were submitted ahead of next month’s Republican primary. Villamaino is set to face Marie Angelides for a chance at state representative. Hundreds of voters’ party affilations were also changed from Democrat to Republican so they’d mistakenly receive ballots.
“The alleged actions cannot mean there is a large scale cancer of character,” Selectman Jim Driscoll said.
Driscoll and Paul Federici are the two remaining selectman. They told voters that daily town operations are still strong and urged voters to be confident. Still many feel the damage is done
“You want confidence in your town government,” Hildreth said. “This certainly knocked the heck out of that word confidence.”
“It’s upsetting. Its obviously hit at the heart of the town,” voter Tom Caliento said. “We love our town.”
Villamaino hasn’t returned our calls, leaving one big question.
“To do something stupid like that, I can’t believe he did it,” St. Germain said. “How did he expect to get away with it?!”