Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hitting the Fan in Middletown

Gerry Kempen speaks! And he's got plenty to say. And BEFORE the election, no less.

It's in today's Daily News- above the fold, no less.

It seems that he decided to follow through with his previous letter to the Council & file suit against the Town, Prez. Rodrigues, Vice Prez Mello, & Councilor Barrow (a lawyer herself) for "embarassment & harm to his professional & personal reputation & to incur costs & afforney fees."

The amount of damages is left up to the Court. Kempen asks to be released from his agreement of secrecy. As part of the suit, the separation agreement was filed which now makes it- PUBLIC.

The basis of Kempen's complaint is that the 3 Council members made disparaging remarks about him publicly, never retracted them, & wouldn't let him defend himself publicly without breaking HIS part of the agreement & refunding monies given him. Kind of a Catch-22.

So what are some of his complaints? Orders given to him by the Prez in direct violation of the Charter. One instance is when the Prez ordered Kempen NOT to place the new Rec. Director in the basement office of Berkeley-Peckham. Now I've been in this office. Librarians used to be located there when space was short in the schools. It's small, & dark due to it's actually being cellar space. Seems as if Senior Director Kaull (the Prez' sis) who is upstairs on the main floor objected to this. One can only speculate why- fear of indirect oversight, perhaps, or just because I say so? Seems the Prez backed up his sister by saying that he was '"acting'" to get my sister off my back." Now there's a good reason for you. So who's been supervising this department head for ?years? Anyone (wink, wink)?

Evidently this type of behavior was brought up by Kempen in Exec. Session when he submitted his vacation schedule & was told by the Prez that he needed him to approve it first. When the Council disagreed & brought up that "no single member of the council should give directives to the t. admin.," he told Kempen, "They told me I can't tell you what to do. Like hell I can't."

So read the article for more details. The payout was 6 mos. salary (?$45,000?), health coverage until Dec. (?$7500?), $530 in sick leave, & 3-4 wks. vacation pay (?$7,500?). He also receives unemployment benefits & a recommendation letter. Far less than the $600,000 currently making the rumor mill.

Pretty despicable all around. Now I could continue this and how the current Democratic Town Committe leadership (who supported this behavior, BTW) is being funded & has been funded, but that's a topic for another day. Of course, you could check it out yourself here.

Who opposed this outrageous buyout- Silveira with Sylvia, & DiPalma later following suit. Hat's off to you! Who was for it & quite outspoken about it, too: Rodrigues, Mello, Santos, Barrow. Thanks for nothing.

Kind of gives a different slant to the entire Dem. Council Primary in '06 when the "bad finger" was aimed at Dem. Vaillancourt, Silveira, former Dem. Town Committee Chair Dick Adams, et al. Hmmm?

Thanks to reporter James A. Johnson for the report
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