Editor’s note: This post is responding to a post by Town Council member Caryn Corenthal Dec. 28 (find it HERE). The School Committee investigated Mr. Lamendola’s accusation in 2019 and found no evidence of wrongdoing (read about that HERE). You can read about the actual litigation HERE.
By Christopher J. Lamendola
I laud the town’s effort put forth during the COVID 19 pandemic and the town agencies and volunteer’s actions during these unusual times. I understand being an elected official is not an easy undertaking but I do take issue with Councilor Caryn Corenthal’s sanctimonious reflection on the qualities she believes she and the other Town Council members possess. Councilor Corenthal, you need to reassess your oath, duties and responsibilities.
I as well as my neighbors have recently made you, the East Greenwich Town Council, as well as the East Greenwich School Committee, aware of newly discovered fraud perpetrated on us, residents of Sarah’s Trace, as well as every other resident of the town during the construction of Cole Middle School. This deception resulted ultimately in the damage and destruction to our homes during the construction as well as the years of unnecessary ligation, never mind the financial and emotional ramifications. Not ONE elected official, either Town Council or School Committee member, was made aware of the fact that the law firm and lawyer hired to represent the “town” because of the damage occurring during construction of Cole was ALSO representing Gilbane, the main contractor at the same time, without disclosing this inconceivable conflict. We, the homeowners forced to sue, were also never informed! How is this possible or ethical? How different legal proceedings would have been!
You and your council cohorts’ reluctance to hold those accountable is what I have issue with. The fact that I need to write this response troubles me even more. What elected official knowingly allows scoundrels to get away with fraud perpetrated on its own citizens, being duped! Your claim of the Town Council’s qualities of “honesty, compassion and competence” ring hollow in my neighborhood due to your and the Town Council’s callous inaction after being made aware of these devious actions! Please hold your self-righteous proclamations to yourself if you don’t believe that being an elected official, one of your paramount responsibilities Is to protect its citizen’s homes value and property rights when you discover fraud and know they have been swindled by outside contractors, lawyers and town employees in charge….then do NOTHING! I find it ironic that the council spent so much time and money on an outside company in West Warwick which was in such close proximity to your and Councilor Englehart homes and property. I can only assume we are minions and not as important as the elected officials and special interests! So much for this new council’s claim of better honest government.
You know that I contacted you as well as Councilor Englehart several times regarding this fraud but never received the courtesy of a response, so your comment on listening and responding to constituents makes me chortle. So much for your “listening and willing to speak with anyone” proclamations. The council’s courageous response is to send a letter from your legal counsel claiming sympathy to the resulting damage to our homes ($1.5 million in damage and $600,000+ in legal fees) and blame others. You even admit the damage happened in the letter, but refuse to hold these scoundrels accountable. Just let them get away with it! Where is your honor? So much for “compassion”. A typical politician, all talk and no action!
I have to acknowledge that you were not an elected official during this time frame (Dr. Schwager was) and please know we also hold those elected officials accountable. I have contacted many of them and are they astounded by the facts and documents of FRAUD and deception. I have shared these documents with these former members and they are supportive of action being taken by the town. You are clearly aware now and know we don’t have the” legal standing” to hold those involved accountable but you as well the School Committee ignore your oath, duty and responsibility to us and the citizens of East Greenwich. You as well as the School Committee hired these individuals. How about holding them responsible for the damage as you, the Council and School Committee are the ones with “legal standing”! Isn’t it your responsibility as an elected official? I can guarantee if it was your fancy home or one of the other Councilor’s or School Committee member’s home’s it would be a different story, wouldn’t it? Something like this hideous event never goes away in a small community like ours until resolved. Why would you want to be an elected official and not protect your own constituents knowing we are innocent victims? At least I have the courage to call you and the other elected officials to task unabashed.
I believe what is wrong with politicians today is their own self-interest and not their constituents. Let’s take the easy way out, no backbone! What is more reprehensible than knowing elected officials have been lied to, constituents’ homes and property are destroyed, know they have been duped, not compensated, and do NOTHING!
I may not be as fancy as you Councilor Corenthal, enjoying lattes, but I know right from wrong and injustice and would be willing to do something about it! You and the rest of the Council need to re-evaluate why you are a politician and revisit your oath, duty and responsibility of being one before making such sanctimonious proclamations.
BTW I like my “Joe” black with a little cream and sugar and you obviously know where I live. I can be reached at any time but will not be holding my breath!
Christopher J. Lamendola lives at 50 Sarah’s Trace.