Mike Coughlin & Seinmetz lawsuits to be discussed in executive session tonight

At 9 pm tonight (11/10) Cohasset selectmen are expected to discuss in executive session strategy with respect to open litigation including Michael Coughlin the Town of Cohasset and Steinmetz v. Town of Cohasset.

Appointment of Special Counsel is on the agenda for a reason not stated on the agenda. Select chair Steve Gaumer responded after we published that the reason for special counsel is for the Steinmetz lawsuit against the Town, as Town Counsel is subject to the same lawsuit.

John and Jane Steinmetz are suing four members of the Cohasset Conservation Commission (ConCom) for $500,000 each. The Steinmetzes believe that the ConCom’s decision was based on “biases and improper influence.” Accordingly, they have a formal complaint against the Town of Cohasset (TOC), members of the conservation commission and Town Counsel John Richard Hucksam, Jr.

After three long years and many depositions, Coughlin’s lawsuit against the town is scheduled for Trial sometime in 2016 at Dedham Superior Court.

On December 5, 2012 Tinytown Unleashed reported (http://www.tinytownunleashed.com/tinytowns/couhglin-files-whistleblower-against-cohasset-decaprio/) that former town manager Coughlin had filed a whistleblower suite against the Town of Cohasset and Peter DeCaprio, chairman of the town’s water commission. In his suit he said he wanted his job back.

Coughlin named the Town of Cohasset, Board of Selectmen at the time he served (Ted Carr, Paul Carlson, Diane Kennedy, Fred Koed and Leland Jenkins and Peter DeCaprio, both individually and in his capacity as a water commissioner.

At one point during this time Coughlin was open to mediation.

If Coughlin should win a major judgment, the town’s insurance company would pay only a capped amount towards the judgment; the rest of the money would have to be paid via a vote of town meeting through borrowing; if voted down, the money would be taken directly from the tax cap.

People who will be testifying on the Town’s behalf are Jack Keniley, former member of the capital budget committee, Steven Gaumer, current chair of the Selectmen and former chair of the capital budget committee, Peter DeCaprio, former chair of the water commission and former member of the capital budget committee, and John Beck, former sewer commission chair. Coughlin’s sister is also named in the document but it is thought she will not testify.

Coughlin’s attorney, Harold L. Lichten of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., has deposed the following town officials to date:

Former selectmen Ted Carr, Leland Jenkins, Paul Carlson, Fred Koed and Karen Quigley and selectman Diane Kennedy. Also, Mark Brennan, former director of operations, and Jennifer Oram, a confidential secretary in the Selectmen’s office. Oram is Brennan’s daughter.

The Town has deposed only Coughlin. Early on, Atty. Leonard H. Kesten, representing the town of Cohasset through its insurance company, attempted to depose Tanna Kasperowicz of the Tinytown Gazette but was stymied by a shield letter written for her by her attorney, Thomas Callahan

© Copyright 2015 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed