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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Time for answers from DiBello, Part 1

DiBello: “I tell the truth” while Progressive Charlestown prints “outright lies and slanderous attacks”
By Will Collette


On June 25, Councilor Lisa DiBello used the Council dais to call me a liar and to announce her bid for re-election. She had no specifics nor did she offer any facts to refute my reporting on her actions as a town office. Indeed, DiBello says she has never read Progressive Charlestown, but had been told we (mostly me) were very bad.

On June 27, I responded to DiBello’s attacks against me by listing 20 questions in three categories that were drawn from my past coverage of her conduct as a town official and president of a Charlestown quasi-charity (or perhaps “pseudo” would be more appropriate).

More than two months have elapsed, and not a peep from DiBello in response to those questions, all of which were based on weeks of research and backed up by documentation.

So since DiBello won’t answer, it’s time to look at those questions in depth, and to examine some new research findings. DiBello wants your vote to continue to be a member of the Charlestown Town Council. Unless she can answer the questions, I believe she is unfit to serve on the Council now, never mind be reelected.

First, a quick summary. Lisa DiBello had a 19-year career as town Parks & Recreation Director. She held that position until she was fired for cause in May 2010 by the Town Council on the recommendation of former Town Administrator Bill DiLibero.

She ran as a candidate for Town Council on the platform “Because I Care” and claimed she had no malice or revenge in mind, should she be elected. She was elected. 

Within a few short weeks, she filed her first legal action (since morphed into a full-blown lawsuit) against the Town and against nine present and former town officials claiming they had engaged in a sketchy five-year conspiracy against her.

 She offered the town a deal – “Pay me $1.5 million and I’ll go away.” She also claimed at that time that she was on the verge of total destitution, though that problem seems to have gone away.

Aside from her questionable conduct as Parks and Recreation Director – and all you have to do is read her own account of what happened in her own charges against the town to see that she deserved to be fired – my research showed numerous ethical and legal lapses, as well as poor management and judgment. 

My June 27 Twenty Questions to DiBello fell into three categories:

1. Her lawsuit against Charlestown. There appears to be no precedent for a sitting Council member to sue the town she purports to serve. Is it possible to sue the town and serve the town simultaneously?

2. Her oversight of a town contractor who held a 10-year monopoly on the Charlestown Town Beach concession and also happened to be DiBello’s housemate and business partner.

3. Her compliance with federal and state law in her management of A Ray of Hope, a charity that appears to have raised at least $100,000 that has not been publicly accounted for.

You will find the links to articles and to documents by clicking here, and then continuing to click on links to other relevant documents and articles.

DiBello has terrific acting skills. On June 25, she was described by Frank Glista as acting the role portraying a "wounded fawn" who is totally innocent and undeserving of my utterly vicious attacks.Those attacks consisted of presenting pages and pages of documents, most of them reports she herself submitted that demonstrated a disregard for her duties, ethics rules, fiduciary responsibility to the charity she runs, breaches of town rules and procedures and, in some instances, actions that could be prosecuted as fraud.

But without presenting one shred of evidence and offering nothing but her opinion of my writing - writing she claims she has never read - she dismisses the mountain of evidence I presented. And the gullible and pre-disposed, such as the "Voice of CCA" Mike Chambers, swallow it whole.

In these new articles, I will add new research on DiBello’s performance and conduct as a sitting Council member. Aside from the contradiction posed by her lawsuit against the town she serves, has DiBello actually kept faith with her duties and responsibilities?

Part of DiBello’s attacks against me from the Council dais included what she characterized as unfair attacks against her family and friends. In my research, DiBello’s family and friendship ties actually played a key role, and her family and friends are key parts of the narrative.

In Part 2, we’ll take a close look at a prime example.