BEACON FALLS — Two months after the Ethics Board dismissed a complaint against the chairman of the Board of Finance, a second similar complaint has been filed.
Resident Doug Bousquet filed a complaint Dec. 8 in the town clerk’s office against Board of Finance Chairman Joseph Rodorigo. Bousquet also filed the first complaint against Rodorigo in August.
The first complaint claimed Rodorigo violated the ethics ordinance on several occasions by sitting at former Building Inspector James Tucciarone’s desk, using his computer, and going through files without permission.
Rodorigo denied the claims. In September, the Ethics Board ruled the complaint did not amount to a violation, and the board didn’t pursue the matter any further.
With the most recent complaint, Bousquet attached a two-page letter written in first-person by Tucciarone. Bousquet said he filed the complaint on behalf of Tucciarone.
The letter, which was submitted to the Board of Selectmen in November, claims that Rodorigo was going through the filing cabinets in the building department, rather than sitting at the computer, and looking over an inspection report for the Cameo Metal Products building on Lancaster Drive.
The complaint alleges that Rodorigo, who owns Keystone Realty, went through the reports for “personal gain” because the company was looking to expand and he was trying to set up a real estate deal.
Bousquet said Rodorigo wasn’t allowed to look through the files in the building inspector’s office.
“You can’t just go through the files,” Bousquet said.
Tucciarone, who resigned this month, could not be reached for comment.
Building inspector reports are public record under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act and accessible by any member of the public, according to Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission.
Rodorigo denied that he was looking through the filing cabinet or at that inspection file.
Rodorigo said Vito Di Maio, owner of the Brooklyn-based Cameo Metal Products, approached him about possibly expanding his business in the industrial park. Cameo currently operates a warehouse on 38 Lancaster Drive.
Rodorigo said Di Maio obtained his number because he is the representative for Sudipta and Bindu Dey, who own 36 Lancaster Drive.
“The project Vito wants to do does not work on 36 Lancaster. The lot is too small for what he wants to do,” Rodorigo said.
Since the project wasn’t going to work, Rodorigo said, he passed along contact information for First Selectman Christopher Bielik, the Economic Development Commission, and the Planning and Zoning Commission to Di Maio.
Rodorigo said he hadn’t worked with Cameo beyond looking into the property at 36 Lancaster Drive because the company was represented by Edward Godin, owner of Godin Property Brokers.
As for the claim that he was doing any of this for personal gain, Rodorigo dismissed the idea as ridiculous.
“I’ve given hundreds of thousands of hours over the last 14 years to the town of Beacon Falls. I have never received a dime in compensation, nor do I ever expect to receive a dime in compensation, nor have I ever used those position to advance myself or anybody else,” Rodorigo said.
Rodorigo said the reason he was in the building inspector’s office was because Town Hall was undergoing renovations and the office was serving as the finance office. Once the renovations were completed, the finance office was reopened.
Rodorigo said the only filing cabinets he went through while he was in that office were his own.
“During the time the finance department is in that office did I open finance files? Absolutely. Not only am I allowed to, I am expected to,” Rodorigo said.
Bousquet is also upset over how the Ethics Board’s meeting to review the first complaint went. The board’s chairman, Brian Cloney, is Rodorigo’s brother-in-law. Cloney ran the meeting as chairman, but recused himself from the vote on the issue.
Bousquet contends Cloney shouldn’t be able to run the meeting at all.
Once an ethics complaint is filed the Ethics Board convenes a meeting to determine whether there is grounds for moving forward with a case under the ethics ordinance.
The town’s code of ethic ordinance outlines four prohibited activities for town employees and officials, including accepting a gift of more than $50, entering into contract for more than $100 that is not work related, representing someone other than themselves, a family member, or their own business before a town board or commission, and accepting money for any speech or appearance in an event in an official capacity.
As of this post, the Ethics Board has not scheduled a meeting on the complaint filed this month.
I can’t help but think that this is somehow connected to the BOS.
If this were a republican administration this would be a very vocal topic of discussion at every town meeting, newspaper and watercolor in the state.
Beacon falls needs leadership not connected to either party. The two members of the BOS have the benefit to do and say whatever they wish without any opposition.
Drain the Beacon Falls swamp in November 2017