The fallout from some incomplete and misleading information given by Lowell Sun Reporter Lyle Moran on Saturday Morning Live continued with some conversation this morning on WCAP between Teddy Panos and Warren Shaw so I thought a short recap was in order.
The Investigation into the Inspection Service Dept here in Lowell started with the “under valuation” of property owned by a cousin of Councilor Rodney Elliot. Someone (rumored to be former Inspector Dave St. Hilaire) dropped a dime to the Inspector Generals Office and that was the first time the IG started to look at Lowell.
While that was underway and the Inspector General was in the City, the Building Commissioner Robert Camacho decided to review three building permits awarded to McBee Development LLC. McBee Development is led by partners Thomas Broderick Sr., the father of City Councilor Kevin Broderick, and Stephen C. McGuire of Tyngsboro. It is assumed he did this to try to take some heat off himself and toss it onto building Inspector Dave St. Hilaire.
During that process the SUN under the direction of Mr. Campanini seemed to brush off the Elliot issue and went after Mr. Broderick (who is a well known friend of Kendall Wallace) and father of Councilor Kevin Broderick who they don’t have a close relationship with compared to that they shares with Councilor Elliot (88 positive mentions in this election season for example).
During that drawn out process a photo “suddenly” was delivered to both the City Manager and the Sun showing Inspector Sandy Ames sleeping on a dock identified as a business owned by City Councilor Alan Kazanjian who Ames also worked for.
In August of 2009 shortly after Mr. Ames was fired by the city for falsifying records and time cards under the supposed supervision of Mr. Camacho, the Inspectional Service offices were locked down by the Inspector General. FBI and Lowell Police.
Mr. Camacho was NEVER FIRED BY THE MANAGER, he chose in an agreement with the City to leave his post in January of 2010. It is noted in the City’s 19 report on the LHA/Inspectional Service Issue that “Camacho’s last day of work with the City was mid-January. At the time Camacho employment with the City Inspectional Services was the subject of state and federal investigations which revealed in part that certain City inspectors were routinely not performing inspections.”
It appears to me that both the Lowell Sun and Councilor Elliot are using information to attack the Manager and the LHA from a bitter, disgraced, former employee who has been shown to not having performed his job properly and who may still be under investigation by the Inspector General office BECAUSE TO DATE NO REPORT HAS EVER BEEN ISSUED BY THE IG ON LOWELL’S INSPECTIONAL SERVICE DEPARTMENT even after they set up an office here in city hall.
Also these comments from Lyle Moran that indicate Mr. Sheehan was somehow forced out of his job for not signing inspection reports have been shown to be 100% untrue. It was during the process of a massive reorganization of the Inspectional Service dept. that the city determined that he could not be BOTH the City Electrician and Wire Inspector and moved those jobs to be separate and into the newly formed dept not the DPW. A vote by the way that current Councilor Elliot supported.
Mr. Sheehan soon after went out on an unrelated disability claim and has since retired from the city.
Mr. Moran failed to point out while on the WCAP Saturday Morning Live show that NEITHER Mr. Camacho or Mr. Sheehan EVER went to the Inspector General nor Lowell Sun with claims of the Manager’s interference or supposed “intimidation” nor have either ever made a filing with the Ma. Dept. of Labor or any Mass court charging the Manager or the city with a claim of unfair or wrongful termination in the years that they have been gone.
There is absolutely no doubt that BOTH the City and LHA handled the North Common project in a poor and “bungled” way. However it is clear that the new personal in Inspectional Service’s are working to get these issued addressed and properly taken care of and up to code under the direction of the City Council.
This ongoing campaign against the City Manager by a bitter Councilor who blames the Manager for not being Mayor (along with a blogger who he thinks is the Managers press secretary or pit bull) and the Sun’s agenda to try and create more controversy to sell their paper (among some other possible motives) seems to be personal and not fair and balanced journalism. Have we seen 1 positive article about the performance of the current IS department?
It should also be pointed out that other than the Lowell Sun and Councilor Elliot, NO Person to my knowledge has stepped forward and has stated that a Sun reporter was banned from the LHA.
The Sun published the motion by the LHA board member which does not call for a ban but Moran and Elliot are the only ones claiming it wasn’t true. Yes the reporter appears to have been told not to record the meeting (that was wrong) and told to Get Lost (hurtful and poor judgement but not a crime) and treated rudely and perhaps unprofessional.
I still stand by my post that a reporter should not be banned and if he was the LHA was wrong but based on complete information that has since been provided, it appears HE NEVER WAS.
If he is confused or misleading on this issue what else is he and the Sun confused and misleading the public about?
Councilor Elliot’s latest stunt with the emails is the same thing. If these emails exist why hasn’t he shared them prior to the last meeting? Who did he receive them from? and why doesn’t he release them so others can see them in FULL CONTEXT?