Just the Facts
Claim: Mario’s housing rehab project was an “unwarranted privilege”.
Mario was more than qualified without anyone’s help. His income was $5,000 below even the lowest level of eligibility to qualify for the program. His home qualified for funding under every category in Leominster Housing Rehab Program Guidelines.
Claim: That I contacted the Housing Rehab Specialist on Mario’s behalf and asked for special treatment for Mario.
Just like I would any other eligible and deserving person, I referred Mario to the appropriate City people for assistance. I talked to the Housing Rehab Specialist twice about Mario’s house. My initial conversation about Mario was with the Planning Director. The first time I spoke to the Housing Rehab Specialist when he wanted to be there when Mario came home from the rehab center. And second when he wanted to tell me about the progress of the rehab. At that time he asked me about adding new windows to the project. I said “Why – Mario never opens the windows”. But they were added anyway.
Claim: That this project was not an emergency.
On December 16, 2007, I found Mario in his home bleeding from a head injury. He was taken to the hospital.
December 18, 2007. In a surprise phone call to me, the hospital called and said that Mario must be relocated by noon of that day.
Mario had no insurance therefore no nursing home or rehab center would take him.
Mario’s niece, the only relative left, was contacted. However she lives out of town and is elderly with significant health problems.
As I would with any other person, I contacted the Leominster Veterans Director and Planning Director to explain the emergency.
Claim: Due to my intervention, Mario was moved to the top of the waiting list
Not only did I not ask that Mario be moved to the top of the list, we have discovered there wasn’t a list. In fact, the program had $55,000 left at the end of that program year. However, if there had been a list, yes – Veterans do jump the list.
Claim: Upon inspection, the Housing Rehab Specialist did not find the house in need of repairs
Pictures speak for themselves.
But to further document the case, on December 18, 2007 the Veterans office contacted ServPro to see if the house could be cleaned in the event that Mario could not be placed. My brother Frank met ServPro at the house. The employee from ServPro was so upset – stating that no human should be allowed to go back into the home.
In the days following Mario’s hospitalization, a total of five people witnessed the conditions in Mario’s home after he was taken to the hospital. Every one of them determined conditions to be “uninhabitable” including ServPro and the Planning Director. When the Planning Director visited Mario’s she even remarked that the toilet on the first floor was falling through to the cellar.
Yet the Housing Rehab Specialist said no work was needed.
Claim: Housing Rehab Specialist states that I told him “don’t worry about the paperwork”.
That never happened. Did he report this to his two superiors, HUD, City Council, memo to himself, city solicitor, or Ethics Commission at the time? A lien could have been placed on the property at any time – with or without title problems. He decided to pursue this 33 months after the rehab at Mario’s was completed.
I invite you to visit the rest of the website to view documentation of the real story of Mario’s rehabilitation project.