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Mediation Scheduled Between Charlestown, Former Selectman

Charlestown — Mediation has been scheduled for June in the dispute between the Town of Charlestown and former Selectboard member Doug Ring over a $6,000 deposit given to Ring for the purchase of a pool cover.

But Selectboard Chairman Steve Neill said yesterday that the board has to decide if it wants to mediate the dispute or go to trial. Neill said the board will meet next week and probably decide at that time whether to opt out of mediation, scheduled for June 27. Neill said the town’s attorney, Adele Fulton, has given the board some options that they will discuss.

“If we do go to mediation, we were told we will need to offer a settlement,” Neill said.

Ring, who was defeated in bid at Town Meeting this year to win back the board seat he lost a year ago, was sued by the town in December over the pool cover, which Ring was supposed to supply from his business, Ringscape Pool and Spas. According to court documents, the town said Ring cashed the deposit check in January 2012 but never ordered the cover, valued at $9,000, from the Stratham, N.H., supplier. The town wants triple damages to include the deposit, attorney fees and the additional maintenance costs for the outdoor pool because a new cover was not installed until late last fall after debris had fallen in the water.

Ring said days before the March 12 Town Meeting that he would no longer speak publicly about the suit.