!!UPDATE: ‘BIG PRESS CONFERENCE’ SET FOR MONDAY!! … NOT YET PROVEN, BUT EVIDENCE MOUNTS: PREORDAINED DUMPING OF CITY VETS’ AGENT ANOTHER PRIME EXAMPLE OF TES’ DUPLICITY … CITY HALL SOURCE: ‘THE MAN ISN’T FIT TO BE MAYOR’
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
ADD 1, SATURDAY, EARLY A.M. — A source close to the situation tells THE PLANET that Rosanne Frieri‘s legal team “is planning a big press conference for Monday.” More to come. Stay tuned.
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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEEKEND EDITION, AUG. 22-24, 2014) — The hearing to fire Pittsfield veterans’ agent Rosanne Frieri was scheduled to happen today (Friday, 8/22), that being a postponement of the previously scheduled “termination hearing” of Friday 8/15. However, by 10:30 Friday morning, Frieri as veterans’ agent was already three days dead in the past tense.
Now the fun begins.
Step by Step, a Methodical, Pre-Arranged Plan
The entire sequence leading to Frieri’s dismissal must be suspect by any objective, reasonable person only looking for the truth in due process and civil rights. As THE PLANET has argued previously, this matter isn’t about Frieri’s standing with local vets. That is an outside evaluation. The issue concerns the mayor’s actions against a respected department head. That is an internal evaluation and as such, one that puts the business squarely in the lap of concern for citizens and taxpayers — not that the mayor cares a whit about those two bedraggled groups.
Two years ago, American Legion Post 68 and the Disabled Veterans Chapter 15 commanders in Pittsfield submitted letters of protest against Frieri to Mayor Dan Bianchi. The letters draw immediate concerns:
— Veterans’ sources tell THE PLANET the two letters came at the request of the mayor. The mayor could not be reached for comment on this key assertion.
— If the mayor prompted the letters, it would explain why he didn’t act against Frieri at the time and strongly suggest that he had these letters written to be used in a future time, when it became convenient to dump the vets’ agent.
— The letters contain no specific incidents against Frieri, only vague, unsupported generalizations. That, apparently, was good enough for The Empty Suit and his nefarious purposes.
— It can also be fairly asked: Were the signatories to the letters (Thomas Landry from Post 68 and Thomas Van Wert) part of a GOB network that had problems with Frieri because she’s a woman or for some other discriminatory reason? THE PLANET doesn’t raise this question, but the query has been front and center, at attention, in the marketplace of local talk.
Choosing ‘the Chicken’s Way’
TES and his henchman, John “The Sheffield Shuffler” DeAngelo, waited until Frieri left for a vacation to send her a certified letter informing her of the mayor’s displeasure and the fact that she would be subject to disciplinary action up to firing. Neat, isn’t it? We mean the cowardly business of waiting until the target isn’t around to mount a defense.
The day after Frieri got back, Bianchi sent DeAngelo up to Frieri’s office. He told her the mayor would like to speak with you. Again, TES chooses the chicken’s way by having his bobo handle the dirty work. Frieri said she would not meet with the mayor unless she had a third party present.
Now think about this, folks.
With a job on line, wouldn’t you consider this not only an unusual request by a department head but also one that would not be done lightly, one that had a truthful (and fearful) experience behind it? The experience Frieri claims is a previous visit in the corner office in which TES launched into what has become, at least judging by the public and private testimony of at least a half dozen reputable people, his M.O. when he’s hot: Finger pointing, screaming, invasion of personal space, intimidation, and bullying.
In fairness, we include TES’ now infamous Nixonian protest, given to The Berkshire Eagle: “I am not a bully.”
Right. Got it.
Frieri’s refusal to meet with the mayor won her an immediate suspension without pay. One can almost see TES in his office, sneering and cackling, over the brilliance of his plan. In hindsight, Frieri should have met with the mayor. If he lit into her in an unprofessional manner, it would only have become more evidence to use in what looks like an inevitable legal action Frieri will pursue personally again Bianchi.
Source: Eagle Editorial Drove Mayor ‘Ballistic’
The suspension without pay took effecct 8/12/ (note that the three chaps who ripped off the DPW were suspended with pay, and so was The Count of Monterosso after he was relieved of his duties — all four men got weeks, maybe months, of a free ride). The first termination hearing for 8/15 was postponed.
City hall sources tells us then of an incident that occurred Monday, 8/18. On that day, our good friend Bill Everhart wrote an editorial in the Eagle that concluded with this paragraph:
The Eagle has printed letters to the editor from local veterans defending Ms. Frieri and praising her job performance. It has received no letters from veterans praising the suspension, criticizing her performance or explaining the past “no confidence” votes. The issue here is between Mr. Bianchi and Ms. Frieri, and her relationship with veterans, which appears sound, is not significant.
Our city hall spies (veddy well placed, and speaking on strict terms of anonymity) report that when Bianchi saw the editorial, “He went ballistic. [He] started shouting and cursing and [on the spot] changed the [new] hearing date. The man isn’t fit to be mayor.” In other words, sources say, the mayor unilaterally decided to move Frieri’s termination hearing up from Friday, Aug. 22, to the next day, Tuesday, Aug. 19. With less than 24 hours now to prepare, Frieri’s team would face the showdown caught off guard.
Aug. 15 postponed to Aug. 22 changed at last minute to Aug. 19. — Nice due process, wouldn’t you say?
After the mayor’s tantrum over Everhart’s editorial, have you noticed the many references in Eagle news stories how to mayor did not return requests for comment. In that regard, our good friends there, including scribe Jim Therrien, are starting to feel right at home within the frigidity and sterility of the “corner office orb.” Unless they publish more of his propaganda and feel-good PR (e.g., the Morningside Fitness Walk), he’s cut them off too.
The Enemies List Grows
Thus TES’ enemies list grows, and thus, Frieri as city agent lives in the past tense. It is an honor for a journalist to make the enemies list of a politician. It is not an honor for an otherwise regarded department head to have her reputation and honor dragged through the mud, as the mayor has done to Frieri? Was there just cause? THE PLANET will take a lucky guess and say the mayor will have his day in court to prove it.
Frieri’s future, according to what we’re hearing, is to “drag [the mayor] into court and sue his butt off.” THE PLANET might put it less ragged-right, but we would grant the likelihood of this happening.
* [ED. NOTE: THE PLANET would dearly love to name our sources, but as you can appreciate, with these kinds of investigative pieces, finding people (especially current city employees and other local public figures and "players") to go on the record is like trying to learn the definitive fates of Judge Crater and Ambrose Bierce (you young'ns in the readership might want to look up those references). Are sources are real, and they are beginning to open up more about what is going on in the city, from their privileged perspectives. We shall continue to ask, even if just as a formality, if we can use names, but THE PLANET will ALWAYS respect a source's right and entitlement to anonymity and protection. We have not only a professional obligation but a moral one as well.]
“Why is it no one ever sent me yet / One perfect lilmousine, do you suppose? / Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get / One perfect rose.” — Dorothy Parker, “One Perfect Rose,” (1937)
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.