Town Lawyer Seeks to Have Councilman Todd Testify

by | Oct 15, 2017

D’Agostino will ask the judge Tuesday morning to reopen the trial to put on additional evidence.

Closing arguments have been heard and post-trial briefs submitted, but Superior Court Judge Susan McGuirl may allow additional testimony in the case of Town of East Greenwich versus James Perry and EG Firefighters, according to lawyer Elizabeth Wiens, who is representing Perry and the firefighters.

Town Solicitor Dave D’Agostino asked to add additional testimony after Wiens sought to amend her original complaint to add the names of specific Town Council members. Her original complaint identified Town Manager Gayle Corrigan, Town Finance Director Linda Dykeman and Town Council President Sue Cienki; Wiens sought to add the names of the four other Town Council members – Sean Todd, Mark Schwager, Nino Granatiero and Andy Deutsch.

In a session with the judge on Friday, D’Agostino said he wanted to put Town Council Vice President Sean Todd on the stand to speak about what took place during executive (closed) session meetings June 19 and July 24. In both cases, Town Clerk Leigh Carney was not present to take the minutes (in at least one of those occasions, Carney was told by Cienki she was not needed). Instead, D’Agostino took the minutes but votes said to have been taken in executive session were never recorded in the minutes. Judge McGuirl has questioned the validity of those votes based on the lack of any proof.

Following the executive session on June 19, D’Agostino announced that the Town Council had voted to accept then-Town Manager Tom Coyle’s separation agreement and to appoint then-consultant Gayle Corrigan acting town manager. During the July 24 executive session, the Town Council was said to have voted to approve Corrigan’s contract. Wiens has argued that Corrigan’s appointment was illegal.

Wiens said if Judge McGuirl allows Todd to testify, she will ask that Councilman Mark Schwager – the lone Democrat on the council and a consistent voice of dissent since June – also be allowed to testify.

– Elizabeth F. McNamara

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