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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

DiBello takes a big step toward suing Charlestown

RI Human Rights Commission waives jurisdiction, grants DiBello "Right to Sue"
By Will Collette

Charlestown Council Member Lisa DiBello has been granted to right to skip the administrative complaint process and take her complaint of retaliatory firing by the town directly to Superior Court. On October 25, DiBello was granted this right. On October 26, she notified the town.

She now has 90 days to bring that suit against the Town and against the array of past and present town officials who she alleges engaged in a five-year long conspiracy against her.

If DiBello follows through on this, it will be the first time in memory that a sitting Town Council member has brought suit against the town.

QUICK RECAP: DiBello worked as Charlestown's Parks and Recreation Director for 19.5 years (though she has repeatedly said it was 22) until she was fired in 2010 by Town Administrator William DiLibero. DiBello claims that her firing was retaliation for a risque conversation she overheard and reported by then Town Administrator Richard Sartor and Tax Assessor Ken Swain. She claims that this incident triggered a conspiracy involving several former Town Council members, present members Gregg Avedisian and Marge Frank, the chief of police, other town staff and Sartor and DiLibero. DiBello claims Sartor offered the higher-paying Charlestown administrator job to then Hopkinton Town Administrator Bill DiLibero in return for DiLibero's promise to get rid of DiBello. It's a very complicated conspiracy theory - read it here and an analysis here.

So DiBello was fired and then ran a campaign for Town Council on the slogan "Because I Care" and with the promise that getting revenge was the last thing on her mind.

Until March of this year when she filed her complaint against the town and all those she alleges conspired against her.

Since then, the Council has been routinely disrupted by conflict of interest problems related to DiBello's legal action. Last May, the issue escalated when her lawyer told the Westerly Sun DiBello planned to bypass the Human Rights Commission and go to court. Now, based on this latest action, DiBello is on the verge of doing just that.

Lisa DiBello is turning out to be a very different Town Councilor than she was a candidate. Since then, Charlestown voters have learned a lot more about what DiBello actually cares about, and it's not just pay-back. The ethics issues involving her roommate's long time monopoly of town beach concessions, the irregularities in her management of the non-profit charity, A Ray of Hope, her sloppy handling of ethics reporting and undisclosed potential conflicts, (read the series here), using spies on other Council members, interfering with town staff, and the on-going gridlock she has caused on several important Town Council matters.

As the 90-day clock ticks toward DiBello becoming the first Council member to sue the town while seated, it's time to ask the question once again - does Lisa DiBello want to serve Charlestown or sue Charlestown?

She should make that choice. If not, the citizens of Charlestown should consider making it for her.


  1. Charlestown politics; its office holders, commission members,and its public reminds one of the Jerry Springer Show. Lots of rant and rave with public exhibitionism. Perhaps it is da water or maybe all da open space dirt that is purchased for the well being of its citizens,no?

  2. You may have a point there, sisyphus; there are numerous microbes in soil, many of them poisonous.

  3. Has Lisa announced that any proceeds from her lawsuit will go to a charity? Maybe A Ray of Hope? Is a company car involved?

  4. Professor Linda; 'there are numerous microbes in soil, many of them poisonous",does the "planing commission" know there is no current prohibited ordinance addressing poisonous microbes ? Perhaps they could call a meeting and discuss how to regulate this pathogenic liberty.Could the purchase of open space dirt policy be the proximate cause? One should,could,or would be in support to alter affordable housing mandated by state and federal policy and allow free roaming pathogenic microbes housed in our aesthetically pleasing open space dirt.
    Is there anyone out there with patriotic civic pride willing to give notice to council and/or commission? Where does one's civic duty end in Charlestown,at the voting booth or cheering at town meetings ? Lets hope there is no infestation at town beaches,think of the summer residents,tourist,and tax increases.

  5. Jan 25, 2012 Will.......

    Go get her

  6. I think sisyphus's comment ended up in the wrong thread, but I'll just add that w/r/t the beaches, a recent study calculated the percentage of fish feces in beach sand and found it to be approximately 18%, if I recall correctly. Just noting that for the benefit of the folks who get all wigged out at the thought of a dog relieving itself on the beach.

  7. Professor Linda; I regret the digression. Thinking outside da political Orthodoxy will cause a rupture or two.
    It is mandatory to pay taxes,there should be a ordinance compelling one to pay attention to political facts.
    Has anyone notified the council,commissions, or da CDC as to sun bathing in estimated 18% pathogenic town beach sand ? Where is da political arrested development(rant&rave),endless unproductive meeting,etc.. Oh dam! I digress once more.

  8. It's true that there are a shocking number of areas where public safety is extremely lax here in town. For instance, there are no guardrails at the beaches to prevent unsuspecting people who may or may not know how to swim from tumbling into the ocean. And what about the deadly effects of UV rays? Should we make sunscreen mandatory at the beach? Make people wave a bottle of Coppertone by a scanner on the way in?

  9. I can't find the words to properly convey my feelings at retiring when I did, except to say Thank You God for getting me the hell out of that mess and away from her and all the hostility in the workplace that was created by all this drama (have I mentioned that my blood pressure is now normal?).

    Stay the course and keep the ship steady, my friends.


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