Breaking news…late Friday afternoon, January 27, 2012
Cohasset Water Commission Chairman Peter DeCaprio and his board have been informed by Town Manager Mike Coughlin that the Town will not process any payment for an attorney water commissioners hired to process an RFP for commissioners regarding a 20-year consignment lease for the water department.
Town Counsel Paul DeRensis’ decision was sent to the water and sewer commissioners, the board of selectmen and the advisory committee. Reasons for denying payment were itemized as the following:
- Lack of approvals from Town Hall
- Absence of an authorized contract
- Ethical issues
Coughlin said in his E-mail to town officials that ethical issues stemmed from the fact that DeCaprio retained the same attorney he used for the water department to represent him in connection with matters regarding his Jerusalem Road home.
What is almost comical is that while some town officials are worried about a couple of people being transferred around at town hall, the water commission was planning to give our new growth, multi-millions of dollars, to a soon-to-be designated water company and the kingpin planning this transfer of wealth was the chairman of the Cohasset Water Commission, who is also a partner at Crow Point Partners managing one hedge fund and three mutual funds. DeCaprio focuses on the utility and telecom space with some exposure to energy. Is this a conflict? Sounds like it.
DeCaprio was at the forefront in putting the RFP together and selectmen appeared to be buying into it. There is some talk around town that the selectmen are actually frightened of DeCaprio, who scoffs at the open meeting law, drinks beer at water commission meetings, and said “We’re not in it to make money.” So what is the motivation in designing a 20-year concession for a contractor when it appears the only serious money that would be made would in fact be made by the consignee?
The question we have now is what are the ramifications of this exciting occurrence? Will Cohasset Selectmen fire the Town Manager and Town Counsel over DeCaprio’s ethical problems?