Union alleges threats, intimidation at Warren Housing Authority

housingauthority

Union employees working for the Warren Housing Authority have taken a vote of “no confidence” in the authority’s management and have asked the Warren Town Solicitor to intercede, saying they “no longer feel safe in their workplace” after allegedly being subjected to threats and intimidation by two members of the authority’s board of commissioners.

The vote came late last month, after members of the authority’s maintenance staff said they were threatened, harassed and intimidated by board chairman Frank Mansi and member William “Billy” Ryan.

It’s a charge that Mr. Ryan and Mr. Mansi both vehemently deny.

“It’s totally baseless,” Mr. Ryan said Friday. “I don’t know what that’s all about, but there’s nothing to it.”
“That’s just from a disgruntled employee,” Mr. Mansi added.

According to a letter sent on July 24 to solicitor Anthony DeSisto by Joseph Murphy, business manager of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local 127, the trouble began on July 17, one day after three other commissioners sent the Warren Town Council and Warren Town Manager a letter outlining management and business problems within the authority.

The union employees say they were allegedly verbally harassed and threatened by Mr. Mansi and Mr. Ryan, who attempted to bait at least one of them into an altercation, Mr. Murphy wrote.

According to the letter, Mr. Mansi and Mr. Ryan were on authority property and approached the employees “in a bullying and intimidating manner, designed to bait and elicit a negative response (and) encroached on the personal space of these employees, threatening their jobs while pointing their fingers in the employees’ faces.”

At one point, Mr. Murphy alleged, Mr. Ryan dared an employee to strike him.

“You know what I want you to do,” he was alleged to have said. “I want you to (expletive) punch me.”

In addition to those allegations, Mr. Murphy wrote that the working environment at the authority has deteriorated over the course of 2014. Executive director Carol Anne Costa, he wrote, “has become accusatory and belittling” toward the union members.

On Friday, Ms. Costa said she is taking Mr. Murphy’s allegations seriously, and is corresponding with the authority’s legal counsel to investigate the union’s claims. Of particular concern, she said, is having a neutral arbiter step in to aid in the investigation, “so it’s not being done by me.”

“We’re certainly going to look into this. I want this to be done in the most open manner possible,” she said, adding that authority attorney William Conley has not finalized the details of how the investigation will be run.

Also on Friday, Mr. Murphy said he has not yet heard anything in response to his letter to Mr. DeSisto.

“Not a phone call, not a letter, nothing,” he said. “Nothing’s happened.”

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7 Comments

  1. joeborges110 said:

    Mr Murphy, you should contact Ms Tats. One good question you could ask HER , is why in the world she nominated The grim Mr Ryan as a Board Member? And how that choice is good for the town of warren (it tis primary season, after all). She may not respond but johnny tats will and that will be a much more interesting take on the matter.

  2. John Tats said:

    @joeborges110 why don’t you go ask Dave Frerichs or Chris Stanely it takes three votes to place a board member. Mr. Murphy might actually have to do some leg work and earn his pay by speaking with the proper people. The council has no involvement in this, your insistence on trying to flame fires that don’t exist are the problem here. joeborges110 people like you are the exact problem with whats wrong with Warren, you in-site trouble with nonsense and conjecture.
    How about you tell us what you feel is wrong with Mr. Ryan, don’t hold back, speak your piece for all to read about what you feel is wrong with Mr. Ryan sitting on the board. Your correct I will respond to your “bs” because folks need to understand that people like you are trouble makers and nothing more. If you feel there is some sort of outside influence doing a wrong on the little Town of Warren please feel free to put it out there for all to see. I am very confident that any conjecture and nonsense you throw out there is all in your head. Unlike others in Warren I take the time to find out all the information regarding an issue because my past experience is that things printed by this media outlet are one sided and always have been. I have taken the time over the years to save enough information to prove that fact just for instances like this.I notice you have nothing to say about any other board members and their very questionable relations to employees there. How about you get it off your chest, if you have anything truth worthy start typing…! I can play this game for a very long time.

  3. Iknow Alot said:

    This has got Democrat stench written all over it! Let’s see, Mr Mansi hires a search consultant Mr Ralph Pari to hire Carol Anne Costa (head of the Democratic committee in Scituate) and who appears to enjoy the stage with Ms. Raimondo (Democratic candidate for governor) http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=LL7btyNdQYTTdUXic1qCtImQ and yes joeborges110 this the same Mr. Ralph Pari http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1899&dat=19850815&id=XJBGAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vPMMAAAAIBAJ&pg=2590,1840456 who was charged and plead nolo in the Rhode Island Housing, Mortgage and Finance Corporation scandal! Way to go Mr. Mansi for hiring a convicted felon involved in a scandal to search and select a suitable director for Warren’s elderly .

    Then Mr. Mansi signs a contract without his four other board members seeing or voting on it? And yes Mr. Tattrie if you read the first paragraph of “the contract” it reads and I quote “by and between the Warren Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, a public body politic….” It does not state ANYWHERE, between Frank Mansi or Chairman or whatever you want to call him. Again witnessed by Mr. Pari???

    Then what happens? Mr. Rabideau is promised a job for his daughter at the Housing Authority, if he just resigns from the board to open up a position for who? Yup you guessed it, Mr. Ryan head of Warren Democratic Committee. See a pattern here?

    And yes SSDD you hit the nail on the head. They got caught and are now trying to put up “smoke screens” to divert the attention and in an attempt to use scare tactics to the employees there. Mr. Ryan, nice try with the complaint to the Attorney General, the only secret meetings going on behind closed doors at the Housing Authority are the ones involving YOU, Mr. Mansi, Ms. Costa, Ms. Tattrie and Mr. Pari. I’m sure however there will be missing videos blamed on others, including the threats and harassment.

    Yes Mr. Mansi, you should bow out and the rest should be bounced out. Mr. Stanley, shame on you, you hold the controlling vote on the council but once again chose to go with the popular choice and then throw it at the feet of the solicitor when it starts to go south (always passing the buck!)

    Well there it is in black and white and in video. It appears some small town Democrats have their own little agenda in an attempt to make it to the big stage but caught with their hands in the cookie jar. I do hope there is Federal intervention here, this town needs a shake up. I correct that statement, this town needs a makeover. And they are all Democrats, I’m shocked!
    Stay Tuned. More to come.

  4. GoodbytoRI said:

    G I sit here and reading this sound like a tv series in the making, “Welcome to TattrieVille”, The drama that is being caused by town officials is sickening, and for a town that is in financial hard times. I make statements many years ago that the Voters of Warren needed to wake up, an nobody listen, Well its playing out know, Have fun this election year and hope there are real people voted in to turn over this mess.

  5. John Tats said:

    While I thank you for considering Warren as Tattrieville, I or my wife have no part in this what-so-ever, that’s the comical part of all this. The fact that (iknow alot) brings forward the information that’s not privy tells me that this is either an employee there or a board member there. Whats ironic is that everyone there including employees and board members are part of the democratic party. Your insistence that there is some collusion is incorrect. My involvement is that “you” (iknow alot) are probably the one whom has done the illegal things there, gathering from your boatload of info you bring forward. What is sad is when I comment on things and people think I’m in political office. My wife has no involvement and hasn’t made any statements relative to any of this, nor should she. If people are unhappy with her performance as a councilor they may vote anyway the feel fit, but when someone makes an accusation and can’t substantiate it, that’s when I speak my mind. I am “very” confident that the agencies investigating this mess will resolve this accordingly. Who would think that working at the Housing for the Elderly would be so difficult. I guess there’s always McDonalds if this doesn’t work out for you. Tattrieville has a nice ring to it, but I can tell you if I was calling the shots there would be a lot of people looking for new jobs instead of harming the elderly folk their supposed to be taking care of. It always seems to be those who hind behind sudo names on-line that have the most to say that’s a bunch of “bs”.

  6. GoodbytoRI said:

    John Tats You are one of the most people with your comments on this blog and you have no problem telling it like it is, when someone comments here it is called an opinion, and you usually have a knock down to that opinion. It doesn’t matter who knows who, when hiring someone, there are rules to follow, and it appears here they were not, When you have officials, whether it be town, or committees that hide behind their actions it is usually because they didn’t follow the rules, Hello 38 studios is a fine example. I don’t know this person that was hired to oversee the housing authority, but if she was not the best qualified to do the job, why was she hired?. who will suffer if she doesn’t do her job rite, the elderly and low income people of Warren. So why wasn’t the entire board involved with this hiring process and sign off together? This drama is why many people shy from volunteering to boards, because of the political fall out that happens. Look at the money being spent to have this situation investigated, more tax $ that the town of warren cant afford already. These issues keep happening over and over, Whos to blame? My opinion it starts at the town council, they appoint the boards, then so one and so on. As for making comments, again that is an opinion and you don’t need to be in a political office to have an opinion. But at the same time don’t defend your wife because she has had several questionable issues in her position and you come up swinging when someone says something! These blogs are filled with accusations (OPINIONS) If the truth comes out then the peoples opinion will be right or wrong.

    • John Tats said:

      Perhaps you are correct with some respect, but we are talking about statements that are assumed by some to be true or correct. Because they are printed on-line or in a paper with little or no “Investigation” by the reporting party. Over the years I have caught this media outlet in, well lets say inconsistencies. I don’t see anywhere in this report where anyone was hiding from the truth. In fact it’s minus any response from the accused parties. I don’t see it as an opinion when I’m being accused of taking part in a meeting with people whom I or my wife don’t even know or have never met. This difference is I haven’t seen any evidence reported by this outlet as to whether this woman was hired in an improper fashion. Since this story came out I asked several board members and was told by three different members and they said all the board members signed her contract. So whom are we to believe? The investigation while costs Taxpayers in general, the funds that run that place do not come directly from Warren, but instead by “HUD” . The irony is that (Iknow Alot) accuses me of involvement that will never be substantiated by anyone because it’s never happened. Without giving away my personal life, I generally don’t spend any time at all in Warren except to return to town and see my children and cut my lawn. So with that being said if people are going to try and tell lies I will continue stand up for both my wife & I when I know there is incorrect information be posted. If people think we are doing this community some wrong they can vote as they see fit, it would be nice to see others in this same situation being wrongly accused of things on such a regular basis. Like I’ve said before this Town creates it’s own drama by never seeing the sky through the clouds.

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