The good folks at CheatingChelmsford.com have released some brilliant research that concerns all residents. For more information and to ask for your very own "Had Our Phil of Cohen" bumper sticker or sign visit: www.cheatingchelmsford.com. Below is their message to residents released today.
It is well documented that Phil Eliopoulos was negotiating for the parcel of land behind the Center Fire Station, now referred to as "9 North Road" since at least December of 2008 while he was serving as Chairman for the Board of Selectmen (BOS). (Deposition page 40)
It is also well documented that Paul Cohen knew about the potential sale of this land to Eliopoulos as early as February 5, 2009 (page 1) but failed to report this information to the BOS as he was legally obligated to do. Cohen has claimed that he told the BOS on March 9, 2009 about the potential sale, yet the minutes from that executive meeting do not support his claim.
However, if what Cohen says is true about telling the BOS of the impending sale, then why can't anyone explain why on March 23, 2009, Pat Maloney, Chairman of the Fire Department Study Committee, presented the BOS with the option of purchasing the parcel of land behind Center Fire Station as a viable solution for improving the Center Fire Station at a cost of about one million dollars, and none of the Board members including Phil Eliopoulos or Paul Cohen said that the land would not be available. Their silence was deafening, in fact no one told Maloney that this land was currently being negotiated by Eliopoulos and if the town didn't act fast, they would lose the opportunity to purchase the land.
More so, when Maloney said the cost of the parcel of land was $300,000, he acknowledged that it was a guess and he expected to be able to purchase it for an even lower price. Again no one said anything.
Watch the meeting and see for yourself
(3:30 mark). or send
us an email and we will send you the full 2 hour presentation on
Was it because the rest of the BOS with the exception of Eliopoulos was unaware of the backroom deal going down?
The irony of the meeting was that it was Eliopoulos last official meeting as a member of the BOS, and some claim, "9 North Road" was his going away present. This type of behavior is referred to as "graft", a term coined by Tammany Hall politician George Washington Plunkett during the 1900's in which he would purchase land which he knew would be needed for public projects as a way to make money.
In Massachusetts, Ethics laws were enacted to stop this corrupt practice from occurring. Based on a citizen investigation, Phil Eliopoulos has violated multiple counts of these State Ethic laws. Read the entire complaint by clicking here
This is not an exercise in futility; under the bylaws of the State Ethics Commission (Chapter 268A: section 21 ), a contract that violates the conflicts of interest laws can be voided. Therefore, if Mr. Cohen and Mr. Eliopoulos are found to have acted improperly, the sale of the Village Green to the Eliopoulos family can be voided and the Village Green can be returned to the residents of the town of Chelmsford. Furthermore, the Eliopoulos family can be required to take down their large office building; in fact, a judge has told them that they were "building at [their] own risk".
As Maloney attested to during the March 23 meeting, the option of purchasing the parcel of land behind the Fire station would allow for improvement of the station at a minimal cost of one million dollars instead of the 9 million dollar proposition 2 ½ override that is currently on the ballot for April 5. (Fire Station Study page 10)
In 2007 a $17,000 study and a 2008 $85,000 feasibility study both found the current location of the Center Fire Station was the best spot for response times. Yet our officials have manufactured a need for a new fire station when we already have one closed.
We just had our 200th supporter sign up last night in our effort to take back our Town. Please forward this email to 3 of your friends and tell them to join the effort to stop the corruption.