On Monday evening this week, at the Cheating Chelmsford public information session, Dick McClure presented the written and video records – the words of the participants themselves – that show irrefutably that Phil Eliopoulos knew of the town’s substantial and direct interest in the land behind Center Fire Station, and that he negotiated the purchase of that land on behalf of his family in violation of multiple state ethics statutes and multiple provisions of our town’s Ethics Bylaw.
The videos also show that Paul Cohen has lied repeatedly and changed his story to cover up both the ethics violations of Phil Eliopoulos and his own ethics violations.
There were a couple of hundred people in attendance, but if you weren’t able to make it you can see the evidence and judge for yourself:
Of course the Lowell Sun reporting emphasized not the 200 people inside learning the facts (which they reported as half that number), but rather the group of 40 or so public officials and their relatives who remained outside talking to themselves and willfully perpetuating their own ignorance.
Of course the smear machine of Eliopoulos cronies called “Choose Chelmsford” continues to focus attacks on me, on Spencer Kimball, on Dick McClure, on staffers working to organize the recall campaign. They will never address the graft that has occurred, and they will never address the dishonesty and incompetence of our Town Manager.
As Joanne Stanway, PR spokesperson for “Choose Chelmsford,” put it, “We knew that the Cheating Chelmsford forum would be a rehash of the same old baseless propaganda.” Not a single selectman attended (after complaining that holding the session the week before would have kept them from attending).
These people are proud of their ignorance of the facts and wear it proudly on their sleeves like a badge of honor. In Chelmsford, to be a member of the leadership club in Town Hall it has been a requirement to look the other way.
We need to change that, and the recall is a huge positive step in achieving honest and responsive government. The Choose Chelmsford leadership, rooted in personal animosity, will continue its coordinated misinformation campaign (“nobody did anything wrong”), the irrelevant questions, and the personal attacks that have nothing to do with 9 North Road or good and honest government.
A knowledgeable but self-interested opponent of the recall is real estate attorney Paul Haverty, who writes that Paul Cohen has requested that the state Ethics Commission investigate Phil Eliopoulos’ ethics violations – but omits the fact that it was done two years late (just a couple of weeks ago) and in the face of mounting pressure from the very recall effort that Haverty decries. In a very lengthy editorial, he completely sidesteps the central issue that the BOS has both the authority and the duty under the town’s Ethics Bylaw to investigate and rectify the ethics abuses that have occurred.
If you’re interested in the FACTS that prove that the ethics violations are obvious, are major, and are rectifiable, here they are, on Chelmsford Telemedia’s recording of Monday’s presentation:
The presentation shows that the facts are incontrovertibly recorded, and rectification addressing the interests of the townspeople should be a slam dunk once formal inquiry is allowed to proceed. That is why the selectmen who refuse to acknowledge the facts, who refuse to rectify the abuses, and who have actively quashed formal inquiry and rewarded our corrupt town manager with raises and a premature contract extension, need to be replaced.
Yours with best wishes and hope for the future of our town,
Roland Van Liew