Council Says Letting Martin Retire was in Town's Best Interest

"The deal with Mr. Martin was in the best interest of the town of Tiverton," said Town Council President Edward A. Roderick.

Responding to outrage over the Town Council's 6-1 vote in executive session to let disgraced Town Maintenance Foreman Bob Martin retire instead of firing him for doing personal work on town time, council members last week said they really had no other option.

"The deal with Mr. Martin was in the best interest of the town of Tiverton," said Town Council President Edward A. Roderick. "As far as the compensation he received, in his union contract, whether he retired or was fired, he'd be entitled to it."

Roderick said the town actually made out better than what could have happened, a scenario that Town Council members took turns describing as a potentially costly legal battle that would have eaten up much more than the $35,000 payout Martin will get for unused vacation and comp time upon his retirement in April.

"These are issues we struggled and fought with, but in the best interest of this town, that was the decision we reached," Roderick said.

Councilwoman Denise M. deMedeiros said she voted against the agreement, but she agrees with it because she "felt it was the fiscally responsible thing for the council to do."

In the end, if they fired Martin, he'd still get the payout and could embroil the town in a lengthy grievance process. And what if two years later he won his case? He could be back working and "we didn't accomplish anything," deMedeiros said.

"There were many facts you don't know and many facts we can't allow out there," deMedeiros said. "I do know what it must look like being out there to look in but you have to trust that we had all the facts . . . and did what is best for the town."

The council members' comments came after several residents lambasted them for the agreement. 

Jim O'Dell said anyone can sue for anything these days, which means reacting out of fear of a lawsuit is cowardly. The council should have taken the opportunity to take a stand and say that employee misconduct is unacceptable and won't be tolerated.

"These decisions are making Tiverton a damn laughing stock," he said.

"Whoever negotiated this agreement on behalf of the town has done a disservice," said Heather Martino. 

But council members insisted they were stuck between a rock and a hard place, to quote Councilman James Arruda. 

"There was obviously issues going on in the town for a long time and this is the council that actually decided to deal with them," Arruda said. The deliberations leading up to the decision took long hours, it might not be popular but "I'm doing the best I can for this town."

Arruda said NBC10 did not cooperate with the state police or the town so "we couldn't use anything they had," referring to footage aired that showed Martin apparently doing personal work on town time. 

"How frustrating do you think that was for me?" Arruda asked. "When I know what needs to be done and I can't do it."

Scott T. February 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM
I say congratulations to Mr. Martin! He's obviously much smarter than the dopes we elected. Enjoy retirement and keep your head held high. The council members can stroll through town with their heads held low. To all voting Tiverton taxpayers: do your homework before checking the box on the ballot. Hopefully we'll get some viable candidates to vote for!
Rug Doctor February 17, 2014 at 02:43 PM
I agree Scott. Tiverton Employees who steal come 1st. There are countless other lawsuits that the council could care less about. Why is this case so different? Red faced liars that want the entire council is. They sat there and talked to the public like a parent to little children that they know better than the public. Stealing is plain wrong no what. The councils actions giving everything to Martin that he wanted is the second theft in this case. Liars and theives that is what this town is known for!!
Vincent Boombatz February 17, 2014 at 04:52 PM
Why does Channel 10 not cooperate?
Joe Sousa February 17, 2014 at 05:00 PM
An investigator should have been hired to present all the evidence to the State Police . This was sweep it under the rug for a good old boy .
Hingle McCringleberry February 17, 2014 at 05:37 PM
Rug doc you said that you know someone who is blocking the investigation into this case. Who is it? Time for the big reveal.
Rug Doctor February 17, 2014 at 05:52 PM
Why were the results of the investigation not made public???
Louis Cypher February 17, 2014 at 06:23 PM
Kirby Payne February 18, 2014 at 06:49 AM
The lesson here is that the town should work very hard to make the various union contracts and personnel policies it is party to be more balanced and efficient instead of so strongly biased towards employees. Just who do these contracts and policies protect? Certainly not the citizens as much as the employees who misbehave.
Leslie Poldervaart February 19, 2014 at 10:59 AM
The Town Council save us Taxmone y, so there would be no pending law suit. Martins was in the union and they would have found a way to get him out of it. The Administrator was the one controlling what goes on with Department heads not the Council. Since he was not doing his job, this is the result. Now he is gone and Martins is gone. Hopefully the new administrator will do his job and change a lot of things, getting rid of the old boys club. Maybe someone should look into the Building Insp, since that is where all our LAW SUITS are coming from!!!!
Rug Doctor February 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Leslie I have been saying that for years. Our Building Official is responsible for millions of dollars in lawsuits!! Our town council and administrator has swept it under the rug for years. Mr Teitz is laughing all the way to the bank. The town of Warren cured this problem by paying legal council a flat fee of $100,000 per year and that is it. It does not matter if there are no lawsuits or many of them that is all they pay. Guess what happened there were no more lawsuits... Our legal council gives bad advice and then gets paid extra to defend the bad advise. In the last several years the town has lost almost every one of these cases. I still am very unhappy with the backroom deal Mr. Martin got. Why is the town council concerned about this lawsuit and not all the others? Tiverton is not a place that fires people for not doing their jobs!!!! Tiverton rewards criminals!!! Tiverton Employees who steal come 1st. Why is the Building Official currently employed here? The town of Little Compton was happy to be rid of him and his lawsuits. Our town council has no courage at all. Red faced lies and excuses that a child would not believe. So Leslie I agree with you about the Building Official but he will never be fired!!!
Leslie Poldervaart February 19, 2014 at 12:25 PM
I agree on this one Rug Doctor!!!!! You are totally correct!!!!!! Martins case, some facts have not come out, I have to say my opinion stands. Let see what happens with the new Administrator!!! I agree with your assessment on Teitz!!!!! He is not worth the money we pay.
Rug Doctor February 19, 2014 at 01:13 PM
The facts will never come out the council has buried them. I have no faith that a new town administrator will solve any of these issues. It makes me sick. This town does not need another uncertified local planner with many ethical issues .Very sad .
Fed Up February 19, 2014 at 01:44 PM
Channel 10 issued a statement that no town official contacted them and asked for the raw video footage or other information, so what Arruda is saying is incorrect.
Just Another Taxpayer February 19, 2014 at 02:02 PM
Now Justin Katz has become a reliable news outlet?
Fed Up February 19, 2014 at 02:18 PM
Justin is not the one who issued the statement. channel 10 did. Why don't you contact channel 10 yourself and see? also, Justin does those "wingmen" episodes on channel 10 with that other fellow. if he made it up, channel 10 would not let him on the air, no?
Rug Doctor February 19, 2014 at 02:21 PM
Democratic party playbook blame the messenger!!!
Just Another Taxpayer February 19, 2014 at 02:29 PM
Justin Katz at best is a right wing political pundit. He is no different then the others that appear of Faux News. They don't tell the truth but those pundits are also asked to return again and again. PS. Katz along with his friend Jeff Caron authored the 22% tax increase which was proven false.
Rug Doctor February 19, 2014 at 02:33 PM
More lies and distortions to take the attention away from what is going on in the present. Blame the TCC for everything
Fed Up February 19, 2014 at 07:03 PM
My comment was deleted although it did not violate the TOS, so I will repost. Channel 10 issued a statement that no Tiverton Town official contacted them in regards to the Martin affair.
Renee Cwiek February 19, 2014 at 07:26 PM
Was this statement seen anywhere else besides Justin's blog?
BD February 19, 2014 at 07:37 PM
It doesn't matter if it appeared anywhere else. The true believers lap this up like mother's milk whether it's true or not.
Just Another Taxpayer February 20, 2014 at 07:31 AM
No Renee, it only appeared on Justin's website.
Just Another Taxpayer February 20, 2014 at 07:51 AM
Fed Up, RD and anyone else who posted on this story. Your statements were deleted by the Peep Hole Patriot, Joe Sousa. Maybe the new editor will ban this guy once and for all.
Rug Doctor February 20, 2014 at 08:27 AM
Tiverton Employees Who Steal Come 1st!!!
Disgusted in Tiverton April 05, 2014 at 11:56 PM
I would like to know who the one member on the council had the morals to do the right thing and vote the lone nay vote. I want to vote him/her back in again. One legal problem with this deal is that Town employees can only be paid for up to one hundred days of accrued sick days. Problem two - Comp time? He used it working on his rental property and using town employees and equipment to do it. Robber Martin got so much more and why do you think that happened? Problem number three -What information did he have and how many people did he have in his back pocket? What does this tell the taxpayers. I'll tell you. The good olde boy network is very alive and well established in Tiverton and the taxpayers don't matter and never have. The more you have on the politicians and employees the bigger the payout to you...from the taxpayers. Sounds like a win win situation for some. So don't forget to thank Bob for your tax bill cause he helped and is laughing at you anyway.
Marge Stockbridge April 06, 2014 at 08:35 AM
Agree with 'disgusted'. No one mentions the morale problem he caused to employees in his department. If they protested in any way, he could retaliate--and this went on for years; while I only heard of his abuses just before whistle blown on him, I understood workers under his supervision were resentful, upset and only stayed because they needed a job and money for their families. So, let's publish a list of Council members who voted to reward (in a big way) negative behavior...a real lack of morality in current Council, and no amount of explanations will keep them in THEIR jobs next election.
Fed Up April 06, 2014 at 09:01 AM
Disgusted in Tiverton...in answer to your question, the only council member to vote against the settlement was Denise DeMedeiros.


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