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Supreme Court Rules Coventry Must Hold Special Election

Justice Gilbert Indeglia said the town messed up and "to hold it against the voters, seems to me, to be contrary to what you're talking about" — a reference to town lawyers arguing against a special election so close to a general election.

Coventry voters must have a special election to fill a vacant District 5 Town Council seat after a decision was reached in a rare summer session in Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Justice Gilbert Indeglia said the town messed up and "to hold it against the voters, seems to me, to be contrary to what you're talking about" — a reference to town lawyers arguing a special election so close to a general election in November is frowned upon in general.

The decision was issued late Tuesday evening.

The council seat was vacated in February after former Councilman Thaddeus Jendzejec resigned after moving out of the district.

At first, town officials were under the impression that the vacant seat could be filled by council appointment based on advice by the town solicitor.

That advice was based on the "official reporter," where the Town Charter is found, and it apparently was modified through error, "inadvertence or oversight" and was "inadvertently, incorrectly and illegally misprinted in the official reporter," according to a town court filing.

Residents Debra Bacon and Nancy Sullivan filed the suit which asked the court to order the town to hold a special election, arguing that District 5 voters deserved representation.

In the court filing, town lawyers argued that if the record of the charter was accurate, things would have been done differently back in February, but "now is now, not Feb. 28."

Toxic Avenger June 13, 2014 at 11:04 AM
The muck runs deep in Coventry.
Risupreme Court June 15, 2014 at 07:50 PM
They have to buy off the right judges. This is RI, and they need supplemental income.
Gem101 June 17, 2014 at 09:16 AM
Well here we go again, and when it's all over all I can say is you voted for them. The Town lawyer Mr Tobin was hired not elected about 20 years ago nice gig so maybe the TC needs a new lawyer just saying.
Einstein June 18, 2014 at 03:16 PM
Wasn't Frank Williams (aka Frank Guglielmo) the Coventry town solicitor a while back? Now that speaks volumes about corruption in Coventry. Has anything changed? Not from where I'm sitting.

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