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Developer's past record is reason for concern

As reported in “Mystic developer’s past charges surface; town officials expect no impact to project,” (April 21), Jeffrey Respler, Groton’s preferred developer for the Oral School property, “denies the accusation that he inflated the price of a building and kicked back money to the union president,” saying he sold the building at fair market price.

His account contradicts the Semiannual Report to the Congress, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Vol. 53, Labor Racketeering, p. 17: “Defendant Caught in Kickback Scheme — Jeffrey Respler, owner of Plumbing Solutions Inc., pled guilty on December 3, 2004, to conspiring with Donald Sclafani, president of Plumbers’ Union Local 1, to sell property at an inflated rate and kick back the $1.3 million difference to Sclafani.”

Another matter, brought to the Town Council by attorney Edward Moukawsher: A failed zoning appeal by the same Jeffrey Respler from an adverse decision of the Board of Appeals of the Village of Lawrence (Supreme Court: State of New York, County of Nassau, Index No. 012815-12, 2016). Noting Respler’s credibility was “a major issue for this Court,” the judge wrote, “What went on with the prior inspector certainly did not pass the smell test.”

On Respler’s reliability, the facts speak for themselves.

Catherine Pratt

Groton 

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