Legault, a freelance writer, fitness coach and personal trainer, is well-known around town but has never held elected office.
He also works as a consultant for a group of investors and businessmen looking to open a restaurant in Salem, he said. Previously, Legault worked as a bartender at the Lobster Shanty and fitness director at the Salem YMCA.
It was clear that much maneuvering took place between councilors over the weekend, and the board’s 302nd vote didn’t come without some theater in the council chambers.
Sosnowski compared the situation to the city’s 17th-century witch trials, when a majority of people didn’t try to find out “the other side of the story.”
Sosnowski bristled at the idea that Pinto’s supporters are “obstructionists” and working against Mayor Kim Driscoll. Pinto, over his four years on the council, voted to support Driscoll most of the time, Sosnowksi said.
Several stood to explain why they supported the candidate they voted for, as they did last week. Pinto, as he was withdrawing his candidacy, thanked each of the five councilors who had voted for him.
Council President Jerry Ryan said the city charter-mandated process to fill a council vacancy — a majority vote of an even-numbered board — should be revisited.
“This process needs to be looked at. ... We need something in place so Thursday doesn’t happen again,” he said.
Last week, the board took the same tie vote over and over for hours, with Councilors McCarthy, O’Keefe, Turiel, Carr and Furey voting for Corchado and Ryan, Sargent, Prevey, Sosnowski and Siegel voting for Pinto.
Pinto served four years as a councilor-at-large before losing his bid for re-election in 2011. Corchado is an activist in the city’s Point neighborhood and Ward 1 councilor from 2004 to 2007.