First Selectman Mark Lyon is willing to "accept the olive branch" and bring an end to a Freedom of Information complaint made by Washington resident Wayne Hileman.

That is, Mr. Lyon said, if that is what is being offered.

Mr. Hileman filed the complaint in May after a Board of Selectmen's meeting in April awarded the job of beach caretaker at the town beach to Mr. Lyon's son, David, without any posting or advertising of the position.

The job included rental of the newly constructed town beach house at a reduced rent.

The FOI committee accepted the complaint and appointed an ombudsman in the case in June. At that time, Mr. Hileman offered to settle the case without a hearing, provided all town officials involved in the caretaker's hiring appeared at a publicly noticed meeting and gave an explanation of the hiring.

The selectmen and members of the Parks & Recreation Commission apparently were involved in the hiring declined.

"I've explained to Mr. Hileman on at least two separate occasions the process we went through," Mr. Lyon said Tuesday. "We've explained it in a selectmen's meeting.

"My feeling, from talking to Mr. Hileman, is that he wants everyone involved in the front of a room so people can throw accusations at them," Mr. Lyon concluded. "I don't see where that's beneficial."

A full FOI Commission show-cause hearing is set Sept. 15 in Hartford.

Mr. Lyon said Tuesday he would bring the issue up again at the Board of Selectmen's meeting, scheduled Thursday, and the public meeting with explanations may be held.

Mr. Hileman said he was pleased to hear that.

"My offer still stands. It's never been my purpose to set anyone up for pillorying," Mr. Hileman said Tuesday. "I don't think anyone deliberately tried to deceive the public. I think they just got sloppy."

"You can't have town officials making decisions, especially on town property, without any warnings of meetings nor any records kept," he added. "And there are none."

Mr. Hileman said he never thought, "as some others did," that the hiring of Mr. Lyon's son was "an act of nepotism. Mark said he wasn't involved in the selection of his son and I believe him."