Personnel Board recommends keeping Vallee

Personnel Board recommends keeping Vallee

NORTH PROVIDENCE - The North Providence Personnel Board has decided that a petition by resident Brian Quirk to review the employment status of controller Maria Vallee is "time barred" and has recommended to town officials that she not be fired.

Quirk, a frequent critic of Vallee, had criticized Mayor Charles Lombardi for keeping her, claiming that the mayor ignored town charter rules he believes "require her dismissal from employment with the town" for her illegal actions.

But the Personnel Board disagreed, saying a three-year statute of limitations that began tolling on the day Vallee committed illegal acts to gain loans she wasn't entitled to had expired.

Quirk said the personnel decision might have been a sound one if his petition was for action against Vallee for the crime itself. But he said his petition was against Lombardi for failing to take action by firing Vallee once he was made aware of her violation of the charter.

"In the case of my petition, the statute of limitation couldn't begin tolling until Lombardi was certain that a violation of the charter occurred," he said.

In August, the Rhode Island Ethics Commission fined Vallee $8,000 for improperly receiving $48,000 in illegal federal loans. Vallee agreed to the fine and acknowledged that she violated state laws.

The $8,000 fine was decided on based on the "totality of the circumstances," including the willfulness of Vallee's conduct and the size of the civil penalty paid in a federal case against her.

Lombardi subsequently decided to keep Vallee as the town's controller, despite the decision by the Rhode Island Ethics Commission.

The mayor said his hands were tied, emphasizing that if federal officials had treated Vallee and her unlawful loans as a criminal matter, instead of a civil one, "it would have made my job a lot easier," instead of setting him up for "a fight we probably wouldn't win."

The Community Development Block Grant loan program Vallee accessed is a Housing and Urban Development program administered by various municipalities across Rhode Island to provide low-interest loans to low-income and moderate-income families and the elderly to make necessary repairs to existing housing.

Comments

What kind of town is this where we will keep someone on the town payroll that has stolen from the people, had a government HUD program suspended and has conspired with the mayor in mismanaging the town at the cost of the tax payers?
And the personnel board let's the clock run out before ruling on this, come on man, corruption to the deepest roots of NP. I want full disclosure on this fiasco and a detailed explanation of why the town has not fired Vallee.
Totally not acceptable.