Ethics Complaints Against
Lawrence City Councilor Marie
Gosselin Gets More Special Favors From DPW
After being fined
previously by the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission
for receiving special favors as a Lawrence city
councilor, Marilda Marie Gosselin (District
F, South Lawrence) had yet another ethics
complaint filed against her this week for work allegedly
done at her East Gilbert Street home by Lawrence DPW
workers in August of 2006.
Gosselin, who has been vocal in her support of embattled
DPW Director Frank McCann and his assistant Andrea
Traficante, is now being accused of using her position as
a councilor to have city workers from the DPW remove a
broken fence and yard waste from her property as well as
having wooden pallets delivered to her East Gilbert St.
home at no charge.
According to a complaint filed this week with the Ethics
Commission, Councilor Gosselin has had pallets
delivered to her house by DPW workers during the work
day. These pallets came from the DPW yard, the pallets
were city property. In 2006, Mrs. (sic) Gosselin wanted
these pallets so that she could move items off the floor
of her basement or garage because of some water issues.
The originator of the complaint goes on to state, my
basement floods during heavy spring rains and I do not
ask for nor get free help and supplies from DPW. The fact
that DPW personally delivered these articles to her house
is even worse.
The Valley Patriot obtained internal DPW documents this
week showing that in August of 2006, Lawrence DPW
Supervisor Andrea Traficante ordered John Isensee, a DPW
foreman, to go to Gosselins East Gilbert St. home
to perform the allegedly illegal services.
On or about August 20th I was asked by Andrea
Traficante to provide service to a home on East Gilbert
St., one report states (see report here).
the work provided was A) bring two pallets,
B) trim tree around light C) remove pieces of wood,
stockade fence, these jobs were completed within two
Councilor Gosselins private home is the only house
on East Gilbert Street in South Lawrence which is located
off of South Broadway near the Andover Line.
Another incident report written by a DPW worker whose
name was blacked out, states that DPW foreman John
Insensee ordered a subordinate to leave two additional
wooden pallets at the home of the South Lawrence
councilor on a different date. This report states I
(name deleted) delivered pallets to East Gilbert St. on
August 22nd, per order of my foreman John I., put pallets
on her property. (see report here)
When contacted by The Valley Patriot to confirm the
authenticity of the DPW incident reports, DPW supervisor
Joe Viel said that the reports were, in fact, authentic
and that the work done at Councilor Gosselins home
as detailed in the reports was only the tip of the
From my conversations with our workers and from
personal experience, I can tell you that this particular
councilor calls DPW on a regular basis, not for her
constituents, but for herself, Viel said.
Additional documents obtained by The Valley Patriot show
work orders on East Gilbert St. precipitated by phone
calls from the councilor to DPW supervisors and the city
yard to have her street swept several times per month and
pot holes filled out of rotation. Documents show that on
February 6th, May 1st, June 20th, June 26th, June 27th,
July 11th, and November 6th, of last year, Gosselin had a
DPW street sweeper clean East Gilbert Street.
Work orders from the Department of Public Works also show
that DPW workers picked up yard waste from her private
property on February 6, 2006 at the same time Gosselin
was having her street swept by city workers. Councilor
Gosselins house is the only house on East Gilbert
Street, and it is one of the smallest streets in the
city, Viel said. The time our workers have
spent over there in the last year or so alone could have
been much better spent taking care of the street issues
of her constituents. But when a city councilor calls for
something, the standard has always been that whatever
councilors want councilors get. They approve our budget
and saying no is not an option.
Viel also contends that during the much-complained-about
snowstorm last month, Gosselin complained publicly at a
City Council meeting that the DPW didnt do a good
enough job plowing the streets. He added, During
that snow storm I got several calls from Councilor
Gosselin and none of them were to complain about the
condition of the streets in her district. You know why
she was calling us? She was in a play over on Island
Street and she wanted to make sure the street and
sidewalks were plowed and the snow was removed so people
could park during the snow storm to see her perform.
While we were taking care of her personal issues, our
trucks could have been plowing some of those streets she
was so quick to accuse us of not plowing well enough. She
said after the fact that she got all these calls from
constituents complaining about how terrible the streets
were plowed, but Councilor Gosselin never once called me
or anyone else to pass along that information. The only
thing we ever heard about from her was taking care of
Island Street for her play.
Island Street is not in Councilor Gosselins
This isnt the first time Gosselin has been accused
of using the Lawrence DPW as her own personal home
improvement crew. In 2002, Gosselin was fined by the
Ethics Commission for having DPW workers remove and
dispose of construction debris and hazardous material
from her investment property on Shattuck St. At the time,
Gosselin first denied reports that she had been taking
advantage of her position as an elected official to get
free city services. Its an absolute lie,
Gosselin said when confronted by a Rumbo reporter. It
never happened and I refuse to discuss this any further,
she continued, adding a few expletives to the reporter
who questioned her.
But when DPW workers came forward to confirm that
Gosselin had indeed demanded they fill two trucks full of
construction debris and dispose of it at no charge to
her, the Massachusetts Ethics Commission issued Gosselin
a fine resulting in a public apology by Gosselin who then
claimed she didnt know what she had done was
The most recent complaint filed against Gosselin details
how she not only received free services from the city of
Lawrence, but that it was her public behavior at City
Council meetings that led to the complaint being filed.
The complaint states: When I saw her on TV yelling
at the mayor and defending DPW and the DPW boss, I had
enough (sic). Of course Councilor Gosselin is defending
the DPW boss, she is getting anything she wants for
property for free! It is like she has a Home Depot credit
card but the only time the bill comes due is when the
ethics commission fines her. I am not trying to get the
average DPW worker in trouble, but I am sick of city
councilors getting special treatment that as a citizen I
cannot get. It is not right! This happens because
Councilor Gosselin is abusing her role as an elected
Embattled DPW director Frank McCann was not implicated in
any of the documents obtained by The Valley Patriot and
all of the workers we interviewed for this report stated
that McCann, himself was not directly involved in
providing these alleged services to the South Lawrence
If you have a newstip or would like to comment on this
story please email Tom Duggan at email@example.com.
Tom Duggan is the
president of Valley Patriot, Inc., a former Lawrence
School Committeeman, and hosts the Paying Attention!
Radio Program on WCAP, 980AM, every Saturday afternoon
from noon-2pm. You can email your comments to Tdugjr@aol.com
*Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com
The March 2007 Edition
of the Valley Patriot
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