Complaint against Bartolini filed with Ethics board; Selectmen to discuss decision about removal from ZBA on Monday

by beth on December 16, 2016

Yesterday, the Town of Southborough received official notice on a complaint filed with the State Ethics Commission against a Zoning Board of Appeals member. The complaint against Leo Bartolini is for purported violation of Conflict of Interest law.

The complaint asks the Ethics Commission to investigate possible criminal behavior and to invalidate any decision voted on by Bartolini “or any other individual implicated in this investigation” – including, but not limited to, Park Central. Meanwhile, selectmen are scheduled to possibly vote on Bartolini’s removal from the ZBA this Monday night.

The charges stem from evidence discovered by petitioners and their attorney in preparation for a removal hearing held by selectmen last week. Petitioning residents claimed that Bartolini had acted improperly in his role on the ZBA. To bolster their case, they pulled the Confllict of Interest forms the former chair (and current member) filed related to Park Central. They discovered that the information on the forms was strikingly different than what he had publicly claimed.

In public Park Central sessions, Bartolini noted that he had filed disclosures that a construction company owned by the developer has rented self storage from him for many years. In contrast, forms submitted by petitioners showed that Bartoloni wrote that he had never done business with developer Bill Depietri or any building companies owned by him.

No defense was provided by Bartolini or his attorney in the hearing. Instead, Bartolini’s attorney argued that it was irrelevant since it wasn’t part of the specified charges to be covered by the hearing.

Residents’ attorney Gary S Brackett also argued that papers weren’t filed with the correct authority. Brackett warned that he intended to contact the ethics board. It looks like he kept his promise.

The papers received by the Town Clerk’s office yesterday bring to the commission’s attention several inconsistencies in the forms filed by Bartolini related to cases before the ZBA involving developer Bill Depietri. 

Brackett also informs the Commission:

Our research indicates that Bartolini has never requested a conflict of interest opinion from town counsel or the State Ethics Commission

The complaint includes the accusation:

A close review of the forms demonstrates that they are submitted by Bartolini in a slipshod and incomplete manner.

The letter then requests the commission not only to determine if Bartolini acted inappropriately, but to investigate if he had corrupt incentives.

Brackett asks the investigation to look at:

Whether Bartolini has received corrupt gifts, offers or promises to influence official acts. . .

Whether Bartolini has used, or attempted to use, his official position to secure for himself or others unwarranted privileges and exemptions which are of substantial value

The request follows that any illegal activities discovered be relayed to the Attorney General’s office and that the commission issue fines. And:

Invalidate any decision in which Bartolini or any other individual implicated in this investigation participated as a voting member, including, but not limited to the comprehensive permit granted to Park Central LLC on August 24, 2016 and the use variance granted to Park Central LLC on June 11, 2015 and any related granting of multiple waivers for Park Central.

Among those copied on the letter was Board of Selectman Chair Brian Shea.

On Monday night, Shea and selectmen Dan Kolenda and Paul Cimino are scheduled to discuss the decision of whether or not to remove Bartolini from the ZBA. The agenda notes that a decision may be rendered that night. (Which also means it may not.) That meeting is scheduled for 6:30 pm in the Town Hall Hearing Room. No time is given for the discussion, but it is listed as near the end of the agenda.


1 SouthboroDave December 16, 2016 at 4:44 PM

This is getting interesting..

2 mark dassoni December 16, 2016 at 5:51 PM

Having ethics commission involved is best thing to happen to get to closure of conflict issues , To Mr. Bartolini I saw what citizens handed out about conflict of interest with Mr. Depietri and use of storage facility ,I gave it back saying I am not a tax paying Southborough voter and listen in on hearing proceedings that night ,, So as hearing went on at end me and Mr. Bartolini spoke very briefly .so to citizens Mr, Brackett ,and Marney Houlahan you 2 done yourselves proud don”t stop ,Karen Shimskus your input is invaluable keep it up ,so now I am leaning towards the citizens appeal discision petition ,To town counselor I am proud to getting to know you and you knowing me ,To Mark Purple thank you for letting me procede to go to and speak at meetings . Mark Dassoni .

3 mark dassoni December 16, 2016 at 10:48 PM

and it just getting started , selectmen scheduled their meeting after ZBA continued the park central agenda til Jan. 18 th, the very next morning it was posted that is interesting, Mark Dassoni

4 mike fuce December 17, 2016 at 9:51 AM

I don’t understand, Bartaloni sits on the aboard and because he rents some storage space legally, you are using this to get him off the board. Be careful people, do you want me to disclose half of you who do business with others in Southborough? You are opening a very bad Pandora box. It is wrong. If Bartaloin has insulted someone, deal with that and move on. I don’t care for half of you or your policies and beliefs either, but I have to live and work with you, so I work with you. If you do not want the development, work legally with the developer to get the best possible outcome – I had to do it when they built a house 20 feet from me. You are and have been costing the town thousands upon thousands of dollars with lawyers and consultants with your protests and stamping your feet.

5 DJD66 December 17, 2016 at 8:39 PM

The guy had a business relationship with the applicant. That creates a conflict of interest. BTW Mike, the action against Bartoloni is perfectly legal.

6 mark dassoni December 17, 2016 at 11:44 PM

Agree on legally part ,but when it comes down to disclosing in public you better be truthful and open in details or in meetings it call conflict of interest if business is involve with a board member , so not wrong , nobody has to do anything if it causes a background check to be legal , nobody perfect but we all have hidden secrets ,I do but I am not afraid to disclose and say in public what they are I have nothing to hide, that his removal is best in all involved to save town face and character for citizens to trust in local government . Mark Dassoni

7 DJD66 December 17, 2016 at 8:44 PM

What I can not get for the life of me, Mr Bartoloni was stripped of his chairmanship and now has the BOS and this ethics this against him. Why has he just not resigned? Why would anyone want to keep this unpaid job? Is there something else going on here? Is he just addicted to the power of this position. Someone please enlighten me.

8 mark dassoni December 17, 2016 at 11:50 PM

Why not resigned , 2 reasons 1-Family pride and namesake .2-ego saying I am who I am and I am not going to let anybody push or tell me what I can and say I am right and I know it ,we all are made up in that way but in different form of thinkings and ways of life, Mark Dassoni .

9 Rob December 19, 2016 at 7:49 AM

This is great! But what bothers me is that a lot of people knew this was corrupt long ago, and no town officials had the courage to say anything. The greed of Park Central went too far this time, and now you burned yourself, and thankfully the residents of that neighborhood wont stand for it! ” Hogs get slaughtered “

10 mark dassoni December 19, 2016 at 10:55 AM

too long to get word out, now it is out there .don”t be silent anymore . Mark Dassoni .

11 Mike Fuce December 19, 2016 at 9:51 AM

Why do those who disagree with others like Rob have to use such violent and incendiary remarks like “hogs get slaughtered”, your attempt at civility was very good but then you closed with an act of aggression. . We never get anywhere with people who talk like this.

12 Anonymous December 19, 2016 at 3:57 PM

I felt the other members were equally involved, rubber stamping everything Bartolini wanted Never any objective discussions amongst them.

13 Souse Bro December 20, 2016 at 1:27 AM

My Lord, Mike Fuce is offended by “Hogs get slaughtered”. I would have loved to have been there when he heard DJT will soon be President Trump. This is the kind of crap Trump is going to put an end to, just on a higher level. Local boards must realize we “little” people will not stand for any back room deals anymore…

14 mark dassoni December 20, 2016 at 10:18 AM

agree,mark dassoni

15 Mike FUce December 20, 2016 at 8:52 AM

Souse Bro, Try being a big brave man and using your real name if you choose to comment on an individual. Anomity is a source of smallness. That being said, I voted for TRUMP. I agree with what you have said. “Hogs get Slaughtered” is a violent term aimed at others by cowards That was my only point to that. Thank you..

16 Anonymous December 24, 2016 at 11:08 AM

Southborough is a wonderful with some of the nicest caring people I know. It does wonderful things for the residents. But I have been offended by Bartolini and cronies at some hearings. They ignored evidence, passes variences where they shouldn’t have, for a landloced parcel of land that was flipped twice already. The longer this drags on, I know they are avoiding a vote, not what the people want.

17 Anonymous December 24, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Sorry, wonderful town.

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