Framingham Online News

Building Commissioner May Face Criminal Charges

Filed under: Public Meetings by News Staff at 10:25 am on November 5, 2011
Framingham Board of Selectmen, (left to right) Laurie Lee, Charlie Sisitsky, Jason Smith, Ginger Esty and Dennis Giombetti.

Framingham Board of Selectmen, (left to right) Laurie Lee, Charlie Sisitsky, Jason Smith, Ginger Esty and Dennis Giombetti.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - In an updated agenda that was published late Friday afternoon, the Framingham Board of Selectman, (BOS), have decided to meet earlier than usual for a closed-door executive session on Tuesday November 8th, 2011.

In the agenda the selectmen have announced they will meet at 5:30pm, (in the Nevins Conference Room of the Memorial Building), and as their first order of business have listed the following item:

1). Discussion Regarding Investigation of Building Commissioner per M.G.L. Ch. 30A, Sec. 21(a)(1) and 30A, Sec. 21(a)(5).

Framingham Building Commissioner Michael Foley was placed on administrative leave (with pay) last week after allegations of padding expense reports, playing golf on work days, not showing up for work and giving friends and associates thousands of dollars worth of discounts on building permit fees were unveiled.

Town Meeting Member George Lewis, (Precinct 18 Chair), has also made allegations that Foley denied him access to public records, illegally barred Lewis from entering the Building Department office, made disparaging remarks about Lewis to others, and in one instance threatened Lewis with bodily harm.

The sections of Massachusetts General Laws, ("M.G.L."), cited in the Selectman's Meeting agenda item address administration of the government and more specifically when and why public bodies may meet in closed-door executive session and pertain to discussing "the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or to discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual."

By law, Foley had to be notified in writing at least 48 hours prior to this meeting.  In addition, the laws cited give Foley the right to request the meeting be public instead of private if he chooses, give Foley the right to be represented by an attorney at the meeting, the right to speak on his own behalf, and his right to pay for and create an independent record of the meeting.

M.G.L. Ch. 30A, Sec. 21(a)(5), gives the BOS the right, (or duty), "to investigate charges of criminal misconduct or to consider the filing of criminal complaints."

A WBZ-TV4 I-TEAM report by investigative reporter Joe Shortsleeve chronicled many of the allegations.  The I-TEAM is following the case, and is now reporting that so many complaints against Foley have come in since their report aired that the Town is considering hiring an independent outside contractor to investigate.

In the same closed-door executive session the BOS will also discuss two pending lawsuits against the Town:

  • SB General Contracting v. Town of Framingham
  • Verizon Corporation v. Defelice Contracting and Town of Framingham

Following the executive session, the BOS will hold a public meeting beginning at 7:00pm, (in the Ablondi Room of the Memorial Building).

Items on the public meeting agenda include:

I. Town Manager's Report
II. Public Hearings
A. Consideration of Class II Auto Dealers License Change of Owner — Framingham Auto
Center, 865 Waverly Street — Tabled 1o/25/11
B. Consideration of Second Hand License, Change of Location — ReHome Expo, 861
Waverly Street
III. Consideration of Distribution of Funds from Handicap Parking Fine Account for Accessible Bathrooms at the Framingham Public Library
IV. Dual Meeting With the Board of Health to Discuss Ellingwood Construction
V. Discussion Regarding Newly Awarded Grant to Fight Childhood Obesity
VI. Discussion on Nobscot Chapel Auction Timeline
VII. Discussion Regarding MWRA Sewer Bonds

VIII, Approval of Open Session Minutes from 2010

  •   May 18, 2010
  •   May 24, 2010
  •   June 8, 2010
  •   June 22, 2010
  •   July 13, 2010
IX. Selectmen Reports

 

The Memorial Building, (which houses Framingham Town Hall and many of its government offices), is located 150 Concord Street, in Downtown Framingham, MA.

A complete official copy of the updated agenda for the November 8, 2011 Board of Selectman meeting can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.framinghamma.org/weblink8/0/doc/19121/Page1.aspx

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  1. I presented the BOS, Town Manager and Town Council with clear evidence of possible criminal harassment by Mr. Foley and one of his cronies. They chose to look the other way. The Town Council essentially told me that Framingham did not have the resouces to protect the rights of an individual citizens and that it needed to balance its resources for the entire town. Now that Mr. Foley’s alleged wrong doing affects the whole Town maybe they will find the resources to get the job done.

    I have communicated with Town Manager Mulvey today and asked that my complaint of possible criminal harassment be reevaluated incorporated in tomorrows “Discussion Regarding Investigation of Building Commissioner”. I would prefer that the Town address this matter with it’s employee. However, If they choose not to do so I may go forward with a show cause hearing to determine if Mr Foley and his minion did violate the state anti bullying statute. That statute is not limited to bullying in schools.

    Comment by Alan Kawadler — November 7, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

  2. I’m sad to report that the Town declined my request to incorporate the allegations of possible “bullying” or criminal harassment against me by Mr. Foley and one of his employees. There would have been no downside to the Town passing this information along to the DA’s office with the other allegations of wrong doing unless the BOS is trying to hide something. Ignoring an issue does not to make it go away. I will present the information directly to the DA’s office.

    Despite numerous complaints presented to the BOS about Mr.Foley’s activities one wonders if it were not for the i team if he would be still sitting at his desk today.

    Comment by Alan Kawadler — November 10, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

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