Attorneys hired to investigate Scituate Police Station work

Attorneys hired to investigate Scituate Police Station work

SCITUATE – Attorneys have been hired as special legal counsel on matters related to the Scituate Police Station building, where problems have persisted.

Work done by former Town Council President John Mahoney and contractors on the project will be the focus of the investigation.

The Town Council, at its Sept. 26 meeting, unanimously agreed to hire the firm Schectman, Halperin and Savage.

The cost for the attorneys may not exceed $7,500 for research and possible action related to the performance bonds and contractors involved with the partially constructed station.

Many residents have urged the council to take action against previous contractors to try to recover funds.

“How are we going to recoup our assets? What’s the town doing? What are the police doing?,” Scituate Democrats President Alicia Kelley asked the council.

She raised concerns about trespassing occurring at the building site. Last week, someone took a photo of former Town Council President John Mahoney at the station. Mahoney led the Police Station Building Committee as the general contractor before being voted out of office.

Town Council President James Brady said he believed Mahoney was taking pictures of the nail pattern on the vinyl siding that was found to be incorrect by new general contractor Sugrue and Associates.

The Valley Breeze & Observer reported last week on a list of more than 16 deficiencies that will escalate the cost of the building by $860,000 more than the original estimate of $1.7 million.

“I would say that things weren’t done correctly with all of these. Some need to come back to the job and finish what they started,” said Brady.

Brady said hiring the firm to investigate the performance bonds insuring the work done on the building is a responsible choice.

“We hired an attorney that’s going to research them and find out what kind of leg we have to stand on. I think we’re in good hands,” Brady said.

During the meeting, Councilor Tim McCormick said the firm will help the town review potential claims against the performance bonds.

“First and foremost, this is about getting the right people in place to register claims on performance bonds and recover as much as we can from that,” McCormick said.

Town Solicitor Wyatt Brochu said the town needs to give contractors the first right of refusal to correct or finish the work before using a performance bond. If refused, the town can hire a contractor to finish the job and go against the balance paid to the contractors.

“Any contractor that hasn’t performed sufficient work is going to receive notice,” he said.

Also on Sept. 26, the council unanimously agreed to name the police station in honor of Scituate Police Chief William J. G. Lawton.