A little over a week ago we sent out information about the deposition of Eastern Bank personnel that indicates that Town Manager Paul Cohen has been guilty of ongoing ethics violations, malfeasance and breach of fiduciary duty. The reporting of information about the “Epsilon, LLC” project from the Slow Growth Initiative and Better Not Bigger has been remarkably accurate despite the stonewalling and lies coming out of the Town Manager’s office. The claims of inaccuracy by Phil Eliopoulos, Paul Cohen and other town officials have been proven to be completely bogus.
We also pointed out that the firm which acts as Town Counsel, Kopelman & Paige, has acted unethically and has ongoing major conflicts of interest both with respect to Phil Eliopoulos personally and with conflicting interests that arise from simultaneously defending the (indefensible) Planning Board decisions, advising the Board of Selectmen, and defending the developer’s interests against various lawsuits by town residents.
Many of you wrote, e-mailed and called your selectmen. One visible response was to use your tax dollars to pay Kopelman & Paige, the very law firm you complained about in your comments, to resist formal inquiry and generate a 100-page motion to quash further depositions. This continues the pattern of using town funding to act against your interests during every single step of the legal wrangling surrounding the Epsilon project: http://www.wickedlocal.com/chelmsford/news/x512655354/Chelmsford-office-park-lawsuits-generate-more-subpoenas
Another highly visible response was to take all board meeting agendas and minutes down from the town web site, along with supporting documents and reports. It sure looked like someone was checking documents to make sure they weren't incriminating before making them available for further public viewing. Wonder who that could be.
Once the depositions were quashed late Tuesday, Jan. 18, the documents reappeared on the town web site. So the online documents were removed from Friday January 14 until Wednesday the 19 – the period from when the Town Manager became aware that further depositions had been requested to when the Town Manager became aware that they had been quashed.
I do not have a short term solution for you. The Selectmen have eliminated a short term solution by continuing to support Epsilon LLC and fighting against all legal actions that are contrary to the interests of Epsilon LLC. With selectmen who explicitly refuse to represent your interests and who refuse to uphold the law, I cannot promise that we’ll save the historic Village Green, though we will do our best.
What I can promise is that, eventually, there has to be and there will be a formal inquiry. It will happen no matter how much of your taxes the Board of Selectmen and Town Manager choose to waste paying an unethical law firm to oppose your interests and support a predatory developer who happens to be a former selectman. And I can promise that you will be given opportunities, as voters of the town, to rectify the pattern of corruption and malfeasance that has become “business as usual.”
Yours with best wishes and hope for the future of our town,
Roland Van Liew