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!!BULLETIN!! MONTEROSSO RESIGNS!! … MEDFORD BUSINESSWOMAN’s ALLEGATIONS OF MAYOR’S “CRIMINAL … RACIST” BEHAVIOR COULD SPELL THE END FOR PITTSFIELD LEADER IF HRC UPHOLD CHARGES

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

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BULLETIN: THE PLANET received word this afternoon of the resignation of William Monterosso, Berkshire Works executive director. The decision was made following a meeting between John DeAngelo and BW employee Dan Collins, who had filed charges against Monterosso. We shall be following this story, working our sources, and will have more info (than anyone) tomorrow.

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, Monday, May 19, 2014) — Did an angry, physically threatening Dan Bianchi use one of the gutter’s most reprehensible words against a black businesswoman? You know the word of which we speak: two syllables, begins with a consonant.

That’s the question everyone is wondering but no one has dared to openly ask in the wake of Doreen Wade‘s allegations of racism officially lodged against the Pittsfield mayor? Suddenly, after just one meeting since its reconstitution, the newly revived Pittsfield Human Rights Commission (HRC) finds itself in a phone booth with a spanked crocodile.

Doreen Wade, speaking to the Human Rights Commission, has accused Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi or criminal behavior, physically threatening her, and treating her in a racist manner. (PHOTO — iBerkshires)

When the Medford businesswoman spoke for 30 passionate minutes on May 12 before the first meeting of the HRC, Wade, who sought city assistance last year in a business start-up, stated she Bianchi discriminated against and treated her in a “criminal” manner. When pressed if the incident could be attributed to an unfortunate but innocent misunderstanding or a miscommunication, Wade said “no.” She said she had no doubt the mayor treated her badly because of her skin color.

Wade said Bianchi made “racially insensitive comments,” yelled at her, and threatened her by shaking his finger in her face. Wade says Bianchi actions made her feel physically threatened. She quoted the mayor as disparaging of “black men over 50.” She says Bianchi told they were deadbeats unable to get jobs “because they are not qualified.” Wade flatly called Bianchi “a racist.”

Bianchi has denied the allegations.

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Wade is the publisher and CEO of the monthly online newsmagazine The New England Informer. Last year, she came back to her native Pittsfield to explore reviving the print version of The Informer to serve the city’s minority community. Part of that process was an 11 a.m. meeting on April 3, 2013, with Bianchi. The meeting was scheduled for an hour, but Wade said Bianchi abruptly ended it after 25 minutes.

Wade alleges the mayor acted in a racist manner during that meeting, which she left, she said, in a state of extreme upset: “He [Bianchi] performed an act of intimidation, also called cowering,” Wade said. “As far as I’m concerned, he committed an assault against me as well as performing an act of criminal threatening.”

Dan Bianchi: Did he call Doreen Wade “a nigger?” (PHOTO: berkshires.twcnews)

But did he out-and-out call her a “nigger?” THE PLANET has posed that question to Wade, who had not responded as of press time. Bianchi isn’t saying, because he doesn’t speak to us. Period. If he did throw that word at Wade and if that is established in a public hearing beyond a reasonable doubt, that would pretty much wrap it up for the mayor. Even if he didn’t use the inflammatory word, discrimination on the basis of color and sex is illegal and immoral. He stands accused of acting in a “criminal” manner by physically threatening this woman because of her skin color and forcing what Wade calls a “horrific” experience upon her.

“It has been horrific,” Wade said. “I am not being allowed to have a living in this city.”

Public officials and figures have lost positions for such gaffes and even lesser offenses than what Wade has accused Bianchi of doing to her. Clearly, there is a lot riding on Wade’s testimony, the evidence, and the HRC’s investigation.

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Is Wade for real or is she a troublemaker?

We posed that question to Josh Cutler, HRC chairman: “I think she is for real,” Cutler said, citing her willingness “to go public as she has.” He added that the commission must fully vet both sides of the story and that “seeing some documents will be crucial to make ultimate determinations.”

Cutler said, “Her candid testimony was most certainly telling about her experiences here.  Having the Human Rights Commission as an active mechanism for people  who wish to have their concerns on the record and remedied is a good step which has been lacking in Pittsfield for a long time.  There’s a lot of work that has to be done in order to determine the scope of what may have happened over the period she described.   We’re going to do our due diligence in vetting the situation.”

One gets the feeling Cutler means these words. Certainly THE PLANET speaks for virtually every citizen of Pittsfield when we say we hope so. There will be no excuse for the HRC to miss finding the truth of this situation, wherever it may rest. The city has granted the commission the power of subpoena. It can administer oaths and receive testimony under penalty of perjury. The HRC exercises this power with a majority vote, and it will be clear if sleazy politics enter into the proceedings. Its members, after all, are all Bianchi appointees. THE PLANET as of the moment is willing to invest the HRC with its trust to look into this situation professionally and without blinking.

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Where does the matter stand now? The HRC will gather relevant supporting materials from Wade, review it, and further investigate her allegations prior to its next meeting, slated for June 9. THE PLANET calls on citizens who wish to see justice done in this case to attend the meeting.

Besides Cutler, HRC members include Pam Malumphy, Bob Sykes, Susan O’Leary, Alfred Johnson, Louis Perez, Cecilia Rock, and Church Cotton.  Members are bound by their oaths to forget whatever political loyalties they may have to the mayor and look at Wade’s complaints with as much neutrality and objectivity as humanly possible. A whitewash will not be allowed.

Cotton, the city council’s representative to the HRC and the lone black on the council, said “There were some pretty serious charges made here tonight. I think it’s going to warrant a formal investigation.”

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Doreen Wade

Doreen Wade has raised the most serious of character issues against the mayor. We don’t have to go into the ugliness of racism, as repellent a social ill as one can imagine. Racism exists in society as a malignancy, growing in environments that send deformed messages, clear or subtle. When the CEO of any corporation, in this case the city of Pittsfield, faces credible accusations of such behavior, that corporation must investigate in a relentless fashion. Bianchi faces repellent, repulsive, and repugnant charges that must be fully probed without the trace of politics. If he in fact acted in the manner claimed by Wade, the city must demand a punishment that will send a clear message: such metastatic virulence will not be tolerated. If Bianchi has been falsely accused, that must also be established and proven not just to clear his name but also the reputation of the city, which has been stained.

Pittsfield has fallen to some pretty discouraging depths under this present mayor, but none would be more depressing or damaging to have it shown that Bianchi is a racist.

If, and we only say if, the commission supports Wade’s allegations, there would only be one acceptable solution for Mayor Bianchi at that point: resignation. Having lost his honor, he could only do the one honorable thing left for him, and that would be to fall on his political sword.

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As a related aside that has not been reported elsewhere, it’s interesting what happened when Wade asked to speak before the city council at its April 22 meeting. Her request was included on the council agenda for that night.

City Council president Melissa Mazzeo denied Wade the opportunity to address members.

“I was put off and told that I have to take my petition to the Human Rights Commission,” Wade told THE PLANET. “I feel [Mazzeo] violated my rights to speak before my government. The president told me that the council doesn’t handle this type of information. She told me she wasn’t qualified to handle this. And then she said she wasn’t the boss of the mayor and doesn’t make rules over him.”

Wade told us she has documentation of “specific instances of abuse … but I cannot expose them right at this moment. There [are] a lot of things that need to be exposed.”

Wade said she asked Mazzeo, “If the NAACP can talk about the issue, why couldn’t I? [Mazzeo] told me that the NAACP is acting as [an official] board [or] representative of the city. I didn’t know that the NAACP was working in conjunction with the city. That is very interesting. So because they are a representative of the city, they have right that I as an American citizen do not have? Can you believe that one?”

The NAACP needs to step forward and clarify its position vis-a-vis the city of Pittsfield. Is the NAACP in bed with the city of Pittsfield? THE PLANET thought (and still thinks) that the NAACP acts as an independent organization designed to help improve life for blacks in America. We could see no good to have an autonomous outfit such as the NAACP fetching water for the “leaders” of a municipality.

“Can you believe that one?” Wade asked us.

Yes, Doreen, we can.

Welcome to Pittsfield.

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When der Fuehrer says ‘We is de master race,’ we heil, we heil right in de Fuehrer’s face.”Spike Jones, “Der Fuehrer’s Face.”

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

26 Responses to “!!BULLETIN!! MONTEROSSO RESIGNS!! … MEDFORD BUSINESSWOMAN’s ALLEGATIONS OF MAYOR’S “CRIMINAL … RACIST” BEHAVIOR COULD SPELL THE END FOR PITTSFIELD LEADER IF HRC UPHOLD CHARGES”

  1. Spider
    May 19, 2014 at 4:59 am #

    Dan: You ask “Is Ms Wade for real for a Troublemaker?” That’s my question as well. If she has a legitimate discrimination charge against the mayor, why didn’t the NAACP appear at the HRC meeting to support her claims? Or doesn’t this case fit their criteria?

    I am in favor or giving tax breaks (as New York State does) to large, credible companies that would provide many jobs. However, in my opinion, small businesses, such as hers, do not warrant taxpayer subsidies. We saw a lot of that taking place during the Ruberto administration and in most of those cases, they fell short of living up to their end of the agreement.

    It is also unfair to all the struggling small businesses, restaurants, etc. in our city that have been around for years and do not have their hand out for tax dollars.

    And finally, she requested help from the city for her publication. Did the Pittsfield Gazette receive any help…..and would you, Dan, if you went to the mayor?

    • danvalenti
      May 19, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

      Thanks, SPIDER man.

  2. Spider
    May 19, 2014 at 5:01 am #

    Correction: Is she for real OR a troublemaker?

  3. Bloods
    May 19, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    I don’t really believe in Karma but in light of Mr. Bianchi’s cruxification of Terry Kinnas, I’ll throw down.

    If it removes him from office before he does any more damage to the citizens of Pittsfield then so be it.

    “Instant Karma’s gonna get you
    Gonna knock you off your feet
    Better recognize your brothers
    Ev’ryone you meet
    Why in the world are we here
    Surely not to live in pain and fear”

    - John Winsten Lennon

  4. D-man
    May 19, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    “It has been horrific,” Wade said. “I am not being allowed to have a living in this city.”

    Let me get this straight, she wanted start-up money for her business from the City of Pittsfield and did not get it, and now she is being prevented from eanring a living in here. She lives in Medford, a 2+ hour drive from the Berkshires, but she cannot earn a living here? I don’t see how her not getting grant money for her start-up from the City is preventing her from “earning a living” in this city!

    If Ms. Wade’s busienss model is sound, why is she not doing it on her own, like almost everyone else that lives and works in Pittsfield? This sense of entitlement is whats wrong with many people today!

    • Teecha teecha
      May 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      You raise a good point. It seems an exaggeration and self victimization on many levels

    • dusty
      May 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      When I hear the word horrific I think of tornadoes or napalm. Not being able to get money or a job does not really rise to the level of horrific for me.

      • danvalenti
        May 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

        I agree, in principle, D, with one caveat: I wasn’t in the room to witness the transaction between the mayor and Wade. The word “horrific” is Wade’s word. At this point, I can’t do anything more than report on the word. The HRC will have the job of determining the truth.

  5. ed shepardson
    May 19, 2014 at 6:11 am #

    Are members of the commission qualified to deal with issues such as this?

  6. Carolyn Barry
    May 19, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    Ms. Wade is a troublemaker. She wanted money given to her for her company. She is the only employee. Anyone can get a job in the city. Did she apply for any? Her background is sketchy to say the least. I give the mayor credit for having her in there for 25 minutes. I would’ve shown her the door ALOT sooner than that. Mayor Bianchi is NOT a racist! She’s just another person looking for a handout and if she doesn’t get her way she pulls the race card. How many other places has she tried this? Why hasn’t the NAACP come to her defense? This speaks volumes!!!!! The more she opened her mouth after this supposed incident the more she put her foot in her mouth!

  7. Dave M.
    May 19, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    Seems to me is the validity of the request is not the issue – How she was treated IS. Ms. Wade’s argument is not that she was denied subsidy, but that she was treated in an inappropriate and discriminatory manner.

    • Carolyn Barry
      May 19, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      She didn’t like the answer she received so she pulled the race card.

      • danvalenti
        May 19, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

        CAROLYN
        That could very well be, but at this point, no one can say for sure. That will be the job of the HRC.

    • Carolyn Barry
      May 19, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      She didn’t like the answer she received so she pulled the race card.

  8. Jamie
    May 19, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    The way I see it the question is what happened in that meeting on April 3? Was anyone else there. I think the city is correct in not giving out a subsidy here, so the question becomes is Ms. Wade an honest person who has been mistreated or is she looking for money?

    Lets take the last question. She tried for money the first time. It failed. There are two other avenues, a lawsuit or a cash settlement to make her “go away.” Lots to “wade” through to be sure. HRC must come up with the right solution
    If Ms. Wade was mistreated as DV writes it could be big trouble for the mayor. If HRC shows it didn’t happen, city could go after her. It probably won’t because she is black.

    In no case should the city give her money.

    Good job DV of brining the story to its ultimate point.

    • Teecha teecha
      May 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

      Teachers, especially SPED, are taught to never be alone with a student specifically so this type of situation doesn’t arise and accusations fly. I guess it should be that way with minorities because the race card is the ace in the hole far too often these days.

      • danvalenti
        May 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

        Great point, TEECH.

  9. Transparency
    May 19, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    Dan

    There is an easy way to settle this.
    Invite Ms. Wade and Mayor Bianchi on your new TV show.
    You can moderate.
    Clear the air of who did what.
    The entire city of Pittsfield can judge the truth in the light of day.

    • danvalenti
      May 19, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

      I would love to do that, only the mayor won’t show. Maybe I’ll try anyways.

  10. Scott
    May 19, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    I thought the same thing as D man not getting the approval for grant money and the way she was treated are two separate things. Even if it’s found out all that’s been said is true and TES did act in a vulgar abusive discriminatory manner it doesn’t mean he prevented her from making a living here. Pssst Ms Wade your entitlement is showing.

  11. Bill Sturgeon
    May 19, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Let’s put all concerned under oath and see what comes out. I was not there I don’t think any of the other people writing on this subject were there so let’s stop beating up the mayor or Ms. Wade.
    Additionally, let’s find out who else may have been in room and swear them in. Just my thoughts.

    • danvalenti
      May 19, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

      “Under oath” is a good subsequent step. That will be up to the HRC.

    • Scott
      May 20, 2014 at 3:27 am #

      I think they’re both at fault. I’m sure Bianchi was insensitive and abrasive and I think this lady feels entitled. That’s just my opinion. Watch this all get washed under the rug anyways you rely think a committee appointed by Bianchi is going to find him at fault? They will take it very seriously sure and them have cotton release the not guilty verdict.

  12. Sparkie
    May 19, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    I think the only true statement in all of this is Mazzeo is not qualified

  13. Giacometti
    May 19, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    It just seems to be a big waste of time. Anyone who knows Dan Bianchi knows that he is not a racist.

  14. joetaxpayer
    May 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Not a fan of the way the Mayor is running the City, but can’t see him being a racist either.