Complaint against Bartolini expanded on; ZBA member refutes allegations

by beth on March 29, 2017

In February, an attorney representing a group of Southborough residents filed a supplement to his previous complaint to the state’s Ethics Commission. The letter added to information from a December complaint filed against Zoning Board of Appeals member Leo Bartolini.

The supplement and amendments further document Bartolini’s handling of conflict of interest issues. The complaint alleges that on several occasions, Bartolini improperly completed and filed papers. The letter points out inconsistencies and purportedly false statements.

According to the letter, the ZBA member has never sought advice from Town Counsel or the Ethics Commission on whether or not he has a conflict. And the attorney points out that despite public concerns about a conflict, Bartolini has continued to act on appeals related to Park Central.

On April 3rd, Selectmen are scheduled to decide whether or not to remove Bartolini from the ZBA. A hearing on the matter was held and closed last fall with a decision to be made at a future meeting. In December, the board opted to postpone the decision to wait for a finding from the Ethics Commission.

Last week, Chair Brian Shea announced that the BOS would schedule a hearing to make a decision soon.

This week, Southborough Wicked Local quotes Bartolini as refuting charges and ready for the board to vote: 

“There is no reason to wait for the ethics decision,” he said. “I filed with them three or four years properly.”

In the article, Shea clarified that since the hearing was closed, no further public comment will be taken into consideration.

He also confirmed that selectmen decided to schedule the decision due to the upcoming Town election in May. Only three selectmen are presided on the hearing. One will be stepping down in May (Paul Cimino) and another is up for re-election (Dan Kolenda).

To view the supplemental complaint, click here.

1 Marnie Hoolahan March 30, 2017 at 12:58 PM

Clearly, the Selectmen need to draw this to a conclusion. The decision should be interesting particularly since there is a lot at stake with either outcome. If they choose to ignore the preponderance of evidence and elect to keep Mr. Bartolini on the ZBA, they open this Town to potential irreparable harm. Since there is evidence that Mr. Bartolini has failed to comply with the Law in filing Conflict of Interest, his failure to recuse himself on several cases raises serious concerns. We certainly cannot rely on a State Ethics Department to solve our problems or even address them at all, it is time for this decision to be made locally.

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