Former director barred from Mass. public employment

Bryan Cohen Sep. 12, 2012, 9:27am


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Monday that the former executive director of the Medford Housing Authority has been barred from public employment.

Under the terms of the agreement, Robert Coleville was fined $5,000 and is barred from employment at any municipal, county, state or federal authority, agency or other public entity located in Massachusetts for the next six years. Coakley also issued a report on Monday that includes a recommendation that employees with the housing authority attend mandatory training on proper procurement practices for greater accountability and oversight.

"The commonwealth has procurement laws for a reason - to protect taxpayer dollars and ensure that all businesses are competing fairly for public projects," Coakley said.

"As head of the Medford Housing Authority, Covelle does not contest that he failed to follow proper procurement procedures for two separate projects."

Covelle did not contest that he failed to follow procurement procedures related to two projects, specifically security services performed for the MHA and construction at LaPrise Village. He also did not contest that he caused false statements to be made about the procurement, including arranging for the creation of LaPrise Village construction procurement documents that were fraudulent.

In her report, Coakley recommended compulsory training on procurement practices for housing authority employees tasked with overseeing public projects covered by the procurement regulations. Coakley maintains that the trainings would ensure that the projects executed by Massachusetts housing authorities have financial integrity. The training would also enable further accountability for the employees if they violate procurement laws after completing the training.

Covelle resigned as the executive director of the authority on May 18.

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