Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Grievance Panel Finds Probable Cause In Ethics Complaint Against Fred Baker, Gambino's Town Attorney

By letter dated March 4, 2010, Grievance Counsel Gail Kotowski informed Fred Baker that the Grievance Panel for the Danbury Judicial District found that "there was probable cause of an ethical violation" of Rule 1.7(b) of the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding conflicts of interest.

She wrote, "The file indicates that you represent the Town of Bridgewater and the purchasers of real property known as the Bianchi property.  The sale occurred 15 years ago.  The Town has a right of first refusal that was conveyed in the Will of Daniel Bianchi, however that did not come to light until recently.

The buyers seek a waiver from the Town of its right.  At a December 8, 2009, meeting in your absence as Town Counsel, the Board of Selectman decided that it was not necessary at this time to waive the right of first refusal.  You subsequently, as counsel for the buyer and the Bridgewater Fire Department, wrote to the Selectman that it should waive its right of first refusal.  This letter is the conflict, as you represent the buyer and the Selectman and are requesting the waiver.  You had previously advised the Board to obtain counsel, and that should have been your only communication with the Board regarding this waiver."

The Complaint against Baker was made by New Milford Attorney Paul Garlasco.

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