Illegal and unsafe asbestos removal questioned by Capone

No answers provided. Capone stonewalled by mayor’s city solicitor and chief of staff

By JOSH RESNEK

Councilor Fred Capone and John Hanlon both complained to the mayor’s chief of staff about not being notified about a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General against a local contractor for illegal asbestos removal that occurred in 2018.

Neither official was told what exactly the city had done to the contractor as a result of the lawsuit – if anything.

Hanlon in the first instance wondered why Capone’s question about what has been done, if anything, was not answered.

Their questions went entirely unanswered.

What was the delay in learning about this Attorney General’s lawsuit?” Capone wanted to know.

“Why weren’t we notified?” Capone asked City Solicitor Colleen Mejia.

The contract in question was given in 2018. Lawsuit commenced in 2021 for non response from the contractor.

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Marchese ask why GTA still on the job

“If this was an issue in 2018, why is he (Antonelli) working for the city? People should not be exposed to asbestos poisoning. There should have been a suspension. The same violations could be going on right now wherever GTA is working. I hope I haven’t been exposed to the asbestos. Everyone up here should be concerned. We need to work as a team-up here.

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Capone wants answers

“I’m concerned about the seriousness of the subject matter and the allegations raised by the AG’s lawsuit. When was the city first notified and what action if any did the city take when notified? I want to look at the bid and the contracts given out. How many city contracts does the vendor have for similar types of work? Are any other contractors working on similar projects? What steps have been taken by the administration to properly safeguard the well-being of residents? Is the community at risk?

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Adrien chastises mayor’s inaction

“Can you imagine? No statement or comment from the mayor. That is a shame. So many residents have asked me about this. I’m highly concerned. We need to address this. This cannot and should not be allowed to linger in committee. The mayor and the city’s procurement officer need to give us details about this and all the vendor’s contracts. How does this happen? How is this done by city hall without us knowing? Again, this is a serious matter,” Adrien told the Leader Herald.

Council tackles asbestos violations

GTA crew members work on Elm Street. (Photo By Jim Mahoney)

Approves special meeting to question city officials

By JOSH RESNEK

The city council unanimously approved a special measure Monday night to call a host of city officials led by the mayor to a meeting of a council committee headed by Stephanie Martins as soon as possible to discuss what the Attorney General has called “serious issues” about the illegal removal of asbestos and possible issues arising from asbestos contamination allegedly committed by the mayor’s favored city vendor.

The health and well-being of the city’s residents is my primary concern,” – Councilor Fred Capone

The discussion to ensue: how such a thing could be allowed to happen by the city’s largest vendor responsible for pipe replacements under the ground in the city’s streets as well as asbestos removal and storage.

That meeting could likely be called for next week, according to city council officials.

The council is demanding to discuss the issues around a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s office in the Superior Court against the local company GTA two weeks ago after almost three years of investigations and discussions, presumably with city officials.

That lawsuit details repeated violations by the vendor over a long period of time and the failure to answer requests and demands for action by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Safety.

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