Townsend Selectman Charged in Domestic Assault

February 19, 2019 GMT

AYER -- Townsend Selectman Cindy King was arraigned in Ayer District Court Tuesday on two counts of assault and battery and four counts of intimidation of a witness.

King, the Board of Selectmen’s vice chairwoman, was charged after a domestic incident that allegedly occurred in her home on Saturday at about 7 p.m.

King, who is completing a three-year term, pleaded not guilty.

King stood in front of First Justice Margaret Guzman at 11:09 a.m. and was represented by Attorney John Dombrowski.

According to Andrea Kelly, an assistant district attorney for Middlesex County, police arrived at the scene of the incident to find debris scattered throughout the house. Kelly added that King identified herself as a member of the Board of Selectmen to the police and told officers, “just wait until Monday and you’ll be sorry.”

Dombrowski requested that King be released on her own recognizance. After all attorneys approached the bench, Guzman agreed to Kelly’s request for a stay-away order and no contact order from the victim against King.


Guzman added that if King was arrested again or charged with a new offense, the vice chair’s personal recognizance would be revoked and she would be held on bail for 90 days. King is set to be back in court sometime in the second week of May.

Dombrowski said after the arraignment that the case needed to “play itself out” and that King is denying “a bulk” of the charges, though he would not specify which ones.

Kelly declined to comment following the hearing, referring a reporter’s questions to Middlesex DA Marian Ryan.

Though she offered “no comment whatsoever” on the charges, King said after the arraignment that she will not be present at any upcoming board meetings.

This spring’s annual town election is April 22. King is the only member of the three-member board who is up for re-election.

King was featured prominently in several Sun stories in 2018, as a group of residents began a recall effort seeking her removal from the board.

Joe Shank led the recall movement, that began the previous February amid a municipal investigation into the Police Department that recall supporters viewed as selectmen overstepping their roles.

Last April, in a one-paragraph order, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld a June 2017 ruling from a single justice of the Appeals Court that blocked the recall from taking place because the allegations in the recall petitions did not match specific reasons for which Townsend officials can be removed.

Then Selectman Gordy Clark was also a subject of the recall effort. He did not seek re-election last year.