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Former Medford Housing Authority Director Barred from Public Employment

Robert Covelle has been banned from any type of public office.

The former executive director of the Medford Housing Authority has been barred from public employment in Massachusetts, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Robert Covelle, 59, of Stoneham, r following a federal audit that found the authority failed to follow procurement procedures and also handed out projects without putting them out to public bid.

Under an agreement with the Attorney General, Covelle admitted to failing to follow procurement procedures during construction at public housing community LaPrise Village, and for several security contracts, according to a press release from Coakley's office.

The agreement calls for Covelle to be banned from public office for six years and pay a $5,000 fine. According to a report from Coakley's office, Covelle admitted he signed off on about $150,000 in security contracts without putting them to public bid, and about $84,000 in construction work.

The following is Coakley's press release in its entirety:

The former executive director of the Medford Housing Authority has been fined and barred from public employment in connection with his failure to follow proper state procurement practices, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

Robert Covelle, age 59, of Stoneham, was fined $5,000 through an agreement entered today with the Attorney General’s Office. He is also barred from employment at any federal, state, county or municipal agency, authority, or other public entity located in Massachusetts for the next six years. AG Coakley issued a report on the investigation and findings, which includes a recommendation that Housing Authority employees should attend mandated training on proper procurement practices in order to ensure greater oversight and accountability.

“The Commonwealth has procurement laws for a reason – to protect taxpayer dollars and ensure that all businesses are competing fairly for public projects,” AG Coakley said. “As head of the Medford Housing Authority, Mr. Covelle does not contest that he failed to follow proper procurement procedures for two separate projects. Through today’s action, he will pay a fine to the Commonwealth and be barred from public employment for six years. Moving forward, we believe that all Housing Authority staff should be required to participate in procurement law trainings to better ensure the financial integrity of millions of dollars of public projects across the Commonwealth.” 

In the agreement, Covelle does not contest that he failed to follow procurement procedures in connection with two projects, specifically, construction at the LaPrise Village and various security services performed for the MHA. Covelle also does not contest that he caused false statements to be made concerning the procurement, specifically, arranging for the creation of fraudulent procurement documents in relation to construction at LaPrise Village.

            In the report issued today, AG Coakley also recommended mandated training on procurement practices for housing authority employees charged with the oversight of public projects covered by the procurement laws. In the report, AG Coakley insists that these trainings would ensure the financial integrity of projects executed by housing authorities in Massachusetts and would foster further accountability for those employees if they violate procurement laws following completion of such training.

Luciano September 10, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Another slap on the wrist from Martha Coakley protecting wrongdoing in Medford. Hey, Martha, Bob Covelle needs to inspect the copper at your home on Coolidge Road in order to pay that tiny fine. This makes Mr & Mrs. Covelle two for two with Martha Coakley and slaps on the wrist.
Ahearne,Michael September 11, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Martha Coakey is an outstanding advocate for the people for whom she has and is currently serving!!! She has no boundries in respect to whom or where she sheds light and prosecutes 'offenders" as she and her task force reveals them!! Shame on those who like you who would criticise a respected public servant for doing the job she was elected for!!! Hey Luciano..what's it to you that Covelle got what he deserved?????
Quill McQuade September 11, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Michael Ahearne, a liberal graduate of the Medford public school system.
Luciano September 11, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Michael Ahearne, you seem to forget that Ms. Coakley fumbled the election and allowed Scott Brown in, her lack of hard work - the kind of hard work Ted Kennedy displayed - hardly makes her an "outstanding advocate for the people." She hasn't properly prosecuted Patricia Covelle, Robert Covelle or John Lonergan, all with a cozy connection to Medford City Hall. Shame on you for defending a hack like Martha Coakley who is too cowardly to properly investigate the shenanigans at Medford Housing. What a sin. Allegation is that Robert Covelle was involved knee deep in the theft of copper - allegedly by John Lonergran. That they split the cash. If I have this information Miss Coakley certainly has the same information. If they can catch the Magic Factory owner and Online Sales and Pinky Pizza, how is it that friends of the Mayor's involved in the three thousand dollar copper caper get swept under the rug by Martha Coakley? You really think Covelle got what he deserved? Covelle deserves jail time. Meanwhile, did his wife take the rap for him? Word has it Covelle was the Sheriff's defacto campaign manager. If he let his wife take the hit for his misdeeds, double shame on him and anyone defending him. Look into it, you might find the allegation has great weight. IF we know this you think Martha Coakley doesn't? Shame on her.
stevieB September 12, 2012 at 09:53 AM
Amen luciano...this was the good old boy network at its best...Covelle has a lot of dirt on both the mayor and his deceased in law..that's why there was so much resistance in trying to oust him. The nationwide search that ended with an unqualified Lonergan was laughable. Yet no criminal charges...riiight..what a joke..dig deeper and you will see the connections between the administration and employees at city, the police and the fire department..it is stunning...Ahh to be a democrat run city is so entertaining!
Janet Pidge September 21, 2012 at 06:50 PM
09/21/12 (Janet Pidge, Newton, Massachusetts) Martha Coakey abused my innocent family (Frances C. Buttrick, Beverley Finnegan, and Janet Pidge) beyond belief and warrants a federal prosecution. To date, Coakley is receiving special protection from the FBI, U. S. Attorney’s Office, Governor Deval Patrick, and others in Washington. Coakley covered up elder abuse crimes, police misconducts, FBI and judicial threats, and other unlawful acts committed against my defenseless family. Coakley also concealed my brother’s (Frederick I. Pidge) government spy duties that my family hadn't known about for years (and protected blatant offenders including former Middlesex Cambridge Probate Register John Buonomo, former Waltham Police Chief Edward Drew) and many others involved in this huge cover-up taking place!
Janet Pidge September 21, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Above Comment is Pending Approval. Janet Pidge 09/21/12
Janet Pidge September 21, 2012 at 07:10 PM
09/21/12 (Janet Pidge, Newton, MA) Martha Coakley abused my innocent family (Frances C. Buttrick, Beverley Finnegan, and Janet Pidge) beyond belief and warrants a federal prosecution. To date, Coakley is receiving special protection from the FBI, U. S. Attorney’s Office, Governor Deval Patrick, and others in Washington. Coakley covered up elder abuse crimes, police misconducts, FBI and judicial threats, and other unlawful acts committed against my defenseless family. Coakley also concealed my brother’s (Frederick I. Pidge) government spy duties that my family hadn't known about for years (and protected blatant offenders including former Middlesex Cambridge Probate Register John Buonomo, former Waltham Police Chief Edward Drew) and many others involved in this huge cover-up taking place! Michael –Coakley blatantly targeted (3) innocent women whom she never even met.
Pete N December 30, 2012 at 06:27 PM
?
Bsheldon December 30, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Lucian/Steve B, thank goodness we have well informed, balanced citizens like you folks. Who needs the police to question and investigate lonergan....only to find NOTHING to criminally try him. we have you guys, and i assume your criminal justice and legal degrees !!!! ---you guys would have been great during the witch trials....stone'm first, ask questions later....if the witch swims, burn him/her....if he/she drowns, oh well. does anyone understand innocent to proven gulity anymore? any crackpot can make an alegation. you guys sounds like the medfordpublic acceess producer---accuse accuse accuse. get a grip

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