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Rilling blasts Norwalk Redevelopment Agency over ‘conflicts of interest’

Redevelopment Agency Chairman Felix Serrano and Attorney Marc Grenier in 2014 study documents in the Norwalk Public Library.

Updated, Aug. 1: copyedit. Updated, 7:56 a.m.: Copy edit; 6:57 a.m.: Copy edits, information added

NORWALK, Conn. — The City of Norwalk and the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency are at odds over who will represent them in a lawsuit against two developers.

In a Tuesday letter to Redevelopment Agency Chairman Felix Serrano, Mayor Harry Rilling criticized the Agency’s attorney selection process, questioned the judgment of Agency leadership, expressed concerns about a conflict of interest, and professed dismay that a defendant in the lawsuit has information that the City believes he shouldn’t.

Rilling’s letter says that he raised concerns about Agency Counsel Marc Grenier’s ties to developer Jason Milligan last month, and that he insisted the Agency remove Grenier from matters involving POKO, a Wall Street redevelopment project in which Milligan recently became involved.  “The fact that the agency did not properly address the conflict issue with Attorney Grenier before I was forced to raise it with you raises serious concerns about the judgment of Agency leadership,” Rilling wrote.

Milligan manages Wall Street Opportunity Fund, which bought “POKO” Phase II and III properties from the project’s original developer nearly two years after construction on Phase I stalled.  The Redevelopment Agency and City contend in a lawsuit that the sale  violated a Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) between the City, the Agency, and the original developer because the parties to the sale did not seek Redevelopment’s prior approval.  The lawsuit, filed against entities controlled by Milligan and the original developer, seeks an injunction and damages.

Milligan responded to the lawsuit by announcing that another LLC that he manages, Komi Ventures, is seeking a deed-in-lieu property transfer on Wall Street Opportunity Fund’s POKO properties. Komi acquired POKO’s debt, and is taking the property from Wall Street Opportunity Fund, making the lawsuit against WSOF irrelevant, he said.

Grenier’s firm formed Komi Ventures and Grenier was its first agent. Milligan said last week that Grenier has represented him in previous transactions, “general attorney stuff” such as real estate closings, is not representing him in any legal matters now, and does not have any financial stake in the project.

The Agency last week hired Russo and Rizio as representation in the lawsuit, replacing Grenier.

In his Tuesday email to Serrano, provided to NoN by a third party, Rilling said he believed Grenier’s relationship with Milligan was “impacting his ability to appropriately represent the Agency (and in turn the City). I was concerned that neither Mr. Grenier himself, nor the Agency took action to recuse Mr. Grenier from the discussions related to POKO.”

Rilling wrote:

“Additionally, as you know, during a recent phone call with representatives from Citibank, we were told that Mr. Milligan knew just about every detail from our most recent meeting with representatives from Citibank. We were all embarrassed and upset that this happened and potentially compromised the City and Agency position. I checked with everyone who attended on the City side (Mario, Brian and Laoise), as well as Mr. Sheehan, to confirm that none of them had any discussion with Mr. Milligan regarding that meeting. Mr. Milligan has indicated knowledge of the City and Agency’s strategy and considerations regarding the pending litigation. I am obviously concerned that the additional disclosure of confidential information and/ or strategy to Mr. Milligan regarding pending litigation or negotiations regarding the POKO project will continue to impair the interests of both the Agency and City.”

Citibank owns POKO Phase I because it foreclosed on POKO’s construction loan, and has been working with the City and Redevelopment Agency in efforts to restart construction.

“I certainly did not obtain any privileged information from Marc,” Milligan wrote early Wednesday in an email, asserting that he’s had “long detailed conversations” with the attorneys, officials and developers involved and has read and re-read all the legal documents. “I am 10 steps ahead of the city. I have the solution and they have not figured out the problem yet. It is very frustrating to wait for them. It is also time consuming and expensive. Granted I am further ahead of them because I have dedicated most of my waking hours to this and they have lots of other stuff to do.”

Rilling wrote that he was “surprised and disappointed” to learn about the Agency’s process in choosing Russo and Rizio in a process “done behind closed doors, with no consultation with the city (despite repeated requests), and Attorney Grenier was in charge of the process of finding and recommending the replacement counsel.”

Redevelopment Agency member David Westmoreland, who was appointed by Rilling to the Agency’s board on June 26, also protested the selection process in comments last week after the RDA’s executive session in which Russo and Rizio was discussed.

“It’s disappointing we were not able to find additional competitive bids,” Westmoreland said. “… I am also concerned at how this process was done. From an appearance standpoint we need to always be as above board as possible. We need to take issues of conflicts of interest seriously. We need to resolve ourselves without being urged by the City to do so.”

Serrano replied, “While not required to go through a full bidding process we did through Agency Council, through discussions with the chairman, direct him with the metric we we looking for, interview these other firms and come to where we are with the recommendation today.”

Sheehan on Monday provided NoN with Redevelopment’s metric:

  1. Litigation Experience
  2. Contract Experience
  3. Government Experience
  4. Not Conflicted
  5. Reasonable Hourly Rate

Redevelopment Agency staff was not involved in the Special Agency Counsel review process, Sheehan said, asserting that the information came from Serrano.

Rilling in his Tuesday letter said that Russo and Rizio may have a conflict.

The firm is representing John and Todd McClutchy, a.k.a.  JHM Group, in Bridgeport projects, Rilling said, pointing out that the McClutchys are Citibank’s preferred developers for “POKO Phase I.”

“I am concerned about the Agency’s response to Mr. McClutchy whereby the Agency concluded that there is no conflict based on the technicality that the McClutchys have not yet sought approval to become the preferred redeveloper,” Rilling wrote. “After recently replacing counsel due to a conflict of interest with one of the parties, it is inconceivable to me that the Agency would knowingly move forward with a firm who has an on-going relationship with another party involved in the project.”

The McClutchys may not be the official redeveloper but they have been in every meeting about POKO and everyone involved knows that they’ll be submitting a formal request to redevelop Wall Street Place, Rilling wrote, commenting, “This appears to be a clear conflict of interest.”

Rilling asked that Serrano and Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan speak to the Council next week in an executive session set for Tuesday, and answer a series of questions.  The letter poses 10 questions to Serrano, and requests replies in writing before the executive session.

The questions include pointed inquiries about Grenier’s relationship with Milligan, asking if RDA sought conflict waivers from Grenier in previous negotiations with Milligan as well as the “POKO matter.”

“If Attorney Grenier has a conflict with regard to the pending lawsuit against Mr. Milligan, why would it be appropriate for him to handle the selection process for a replacement counsel?” Rilling asked, going on to request documentation that Grenier will not be sharing information with Milligan.

“How is the Russo law firm supposed to appropriately represent the Agency (and in turn the interests of the City) in its negotiations with Mr. McClutchy when the same law firm is representing Mr. McClutchy in other legal matters?” Rilling asked.

Serrano said in a late-night email that he is “taken aback” by Rilling’s letter and will attend the executive session next week.

Serrano wrote:

“I am in receipt of the letter from the Mayor and I plan on attending the Executive Session of the Common Council on Tuesday.

“I am however taken aback – the Mayor and I agreed in June that Special Counsel should be retained.  I immediately informed Agency Counsel of that decision as well as the other Commissioners at that time.  I worked with Agency Counsel in reviewing the firms being considered up to the point of the agreed upon firm of Russo & Rizio.  Had the City indicated to me that either Corporation Counsel or the Mayor wanted to be involved in the review process, I would have welcomed their comment, but that request was not made of me.  On a July 3rd phone call with the Mayor as a secondary issue the Mayor asked me what firm had been selected.  I told him Attorney Russo’s firm from Fairfield.  Nothing more was asked of me by the Mayor or Corporation Counsel regarding the selection.”

Former Norwalk Corporation Counsel Peter Nolin, in a comment on NancyOnNorwalk, called the concerns raised last week by Westmoreland “a little overblown.”

“In a relatively small legal community such as we have in Connecticut, conflicts are inevitable,” Nolin wrote on July 11. “The standard remedy is for the conflicted firm either to obtain waivers from all involved parties or to step down from the particular matter in which there is a conflict. Given the sensitivity of this matter it appears that Attorney Grenier and his firm decide not to seek waivers and instead stepped a sided from this matter for the Agency. That is something that happens routinely to the commercial firms practicing in Fairfield county.”

Nolin is former Vice Chair of the Norwalk Republican Town Committee and is a partner in the law firm Carmody, Torrance, Sandak, and Hennessey, which often represents real estate developers seeking approvals for projects in Norwalk.

Rilling did not reply to a Tuesday evening email from NancyOnNorwalk.

 

NancyOnNorwalk missed last week’s Redevelopment Agency meeting discussion about retaining an outside law firm but has since obtained a recording.

Rilling to Serrano 18-0717 20180717_0002

25 comments

Jason Milligan July 18, 2018 at 4:56 am

Wow!
When are they going to talk about the actual project?

There is a really big unfinished building in the center of the city that is putting many of the area businesses-out of business.

Meanwhile Rilling wants to rearrange the deck chairs on the titanic.

Attorney Grenier stepped asside. Now get the other architects of the Tyvek dissaster to also step asside! That would be Mario Coppola, Harry Rilling, Tim Sheehan. Their judgment is clouded because they are the reason we are here. The conflict of interest is huge. How are they now the ones that are supposed to solve this mess that they created. They are busy covering their own behinds.

We need fresh ideas from people that are conflict free.

Steve Kleppin is smart and doesn’t have history. Laoise King, Brian McCann are very capable and also are not conflicted.

It is also time that everyone realizes that Citibank is an enemy of the city. They deserve the most blame for where we are. They lobbied hard for POKO to start and move ahead. They convinced the council in 2015 that this project was rock solid, and it was Citibank’s confidence that pushed the council past their reservations.

Citibank could buy and sell the city of Norwalk. They don’t know Norwalk, they don’t care about Norwalk. They do business in thousands of Norwalks. Poko is a tiny spec in their world. It is time for them to pack their bags and go home. Sell the project to Spinnaker, Waypointe, Discala for what ever it is worth.

All the secretive plans they are working on with the city are designed to enrich themselves at our expense. They want more from the taxpayers.

We need all new people with new ideas!
Hopefully we will not have to wait for a year from November…

Norwalk native July 18, 2018 at 6:06 am

Mayor Laoise and Assistant Rilling bamboozled again! This pair could get lost in a paper cup.
Unlike the Norwalk Police Department, the City of Norwalk needs competent Managers who are able to forsee problems without being outmanuevered by amateurs. As long as Norwalk remains a one party town, we will continue to be poorly run and poorly led by Union bosses who are used to ruling by patronage and back room dealing with cronies.

Dave McCarthy July 18, 2018 at 7:22 am

Seems like Mayor Trump is namecalling to avoid the real issue. I agree with Peter Nolin and Mr. Milligan. Solve the problem. Marc Grenier is an accomplished, honest attorney who has stepped aside. To accuse him of professional misconduct as he seemingly has, the mayor demonstrates why he needs to stop playing mayor and move on

Jlightfield July 18, 2018 at 7:33 am

Based purely on the merits of the this project, RDA produced an LDA with no provisions to revert ownership of the Issac Street lot should the developer fail to execute. That should be enough for the common council to have insisted on a mandatory legal review by City chosen attorneys. But it is not just this project. RDA fought against such reversions in other projects on Wall Street, and failed to protect the City’s interests in 95/7 for decades. Through it all, the planning committee of the common council has been staffed by the RDA, and that alone has been a major conflict of interest that has brought us to this point.

Lisa Brinton Thomson July 18, 2018 at 7:40 am

Isn’t it a little late for a CYA letter from the mayor? David Westmoreland, is brilliant! One meeting with this group and he’s asking the right questions. Who knows what else he’ll uncover in the months ahead – patronage, and back room dealing is right. While Norwalk and state politicos were handing over the project to another insider, with additional taxpayer money, Milligan came in and upset the apple cart! What we still don’t really understand is why Poko Phase I is dependent on Poko Phase II and what went wrong and who was asleep at the switch. Not sure suing Milligan is making this situation any better, but follow the money.

Rick July 18, 2018 at 8:09 am

questioned the judgment of Agency leadership while the rest of us question leadership from the mayors down.

Its ok the city is in trouble on the Washington Village nightmare and now we are looking at the Ryan park disaster

We are looking at a love canal scenario that needs to be investigated and is and not by the city.

Jason with all respect please take a number these 300 children and adults in the village may need somewhere to live more so now than later .

Lets keep our eye on the ball this the only reason city hall is not as concerned on the recent events is there no one at city hall and the RDA understands whats going on.

The work is in the hands of the State and Federal authorities they realize living conditions for those in the village was not only deplorable but borderlines legal trouble for the city .

Our hat is off to Westmoreland he is at least someone who will observe deduct and respond ad wasn’t appointed to rubber stamp[ the issues.

More state and federal agencies are looking into theNorwalk Redevelopment Agency, case numbers and incident numbers that are being generated each day.

This latest news is not surprising not even Jimmy the Greek would of bet on the city to win.

Jason Milligan July 18, 2018 at 8:17 am

There are many simple and speedy solutions to Poko phase I. They all require a reality check.

Citibank claims to have invested $18.5 million into phase I. It is worth approximately $6 million!

All of Citibank’s solutions to date have been secretive for a reason. They are trying to make the taxpayers of Norwalk eat their loss, and get us to give even more into the project.

The city leaders have been complicit because they don’t want to admit failure.

I have offered Citibank more than $6 million for phase I. I will not ask the city of Norwalk for anything additional. I will provide all of the public parking that was promised for phase I and phase II, 188 spaces.

There are 3 zoning tweaks needed for the area that I have been pretty vocal about.

My plan would open as much parking to public as possible and as fast as safely possible!

Can the public please press for answers?

Why is the city in love with Citibank?

What is the goal of their lawsuit?
They are actually trying to rewind and give phase II back to Poko…WTF??

And then what?

V July 18, 2018 at 9:59 am

Harry should write memoir entitled – “How not to be outmaneuvered, outsmarted and other life lessons I learned as Mayor”.

Can someone really run against him in the election cycle?
Lisa you wont win as an independent so pick a party.

Piberman July 18, 2018 at 10:13 am

Beginning to look like Mayor Rilling’s re-election is beginning to hit some snags as City residents see some fault lines in how City Hall is managed. Could it be the Mayor’s claim that we’re “CT’s greatest City” seems a bit wide of the mark.

EnoPride July 18, 2018 at 11:46 am

Thank you, Nancy, for including Peter Nolin’s comments describing David Westmoreland’s concerns regarding this redevelopment debacle as “a little overblown”. In a nutshell, he’s absolutely correct. Mr. Nolin’s further comments bring this troubling situation back down to earth. They send the strong, practical message that conflict happens, it’s part of the day to day, it’s business as usual, and that we need to do what it takes together to move on and work through the conflict, rather than sit deadlocked and stagnant, fingerpointing and blustering and threatening lawsuits, creating and exacerbating more problems.

Let’s put the egos aside, cut our losses and move forward not backwards on Wall Street. The resuscitation of this Wall Street Area is long, long overdue. It is pathetic and difficult to sit back and watch at this point and to wonder about “what could have been” all these years. AAA rated Norwalk has a blighted, neglected historic city center with a honking, Tyvek box monstrosity as it’s iconic landmark. The clock is ticking. The opportunity for Wall Street to be a robust economic development has been wasted here for decades due to mismanagement. Please overhaul this. Time is money, and time and money are wasted suing Mr. Milligan for actually wanting to revitalize the area, especially when factoring in that another poster noted that various redevelopment projects have been passed through questionably in Norwalk’s past. Nobody but City Hall is to blame here. Mr. Milligan should not be at the whipping post. I also am confused as to why Poko Phase I is dependent on Poko Phase II.

Michael McGuire July 18, 2018 at 1:07 pm

I hope the Mayor’s next salvo includes a very direct question of “why hasn’t Redevelopment focused on a Train Station at Wall Street”. That alone would increase the value of the POKO project significantly making it more palatable and feasible to clean this mess up.

I’m very happy to see the light piercing into the dark corners of POKO Phase I and thankful that David Westmoreland is now on RDA.

Bill Nightingale July 18, 2018 at 1:11 pm

Thank you Mayor Rilling. You are 100% correct. Any city business, especially with the conflict challenged RDA, has to be squeaky clean. Conflicts are not inevitable as quoted in the article. That is Norwalk good ole boy mentality that needs to change.

However, more needs to be done beyond just selecting a non conflicted lawyer for the RDA. The RDA simply needs to be abolished. Everything they do is an utter failure.

Patrick Cooper July 18, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Oh, come on now – this is RICH! Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Harry appoint these officials? Perhaps this is the “quasi” in quasi-independent?

When Mr. Milligan, then Mr. Westmoreland – reported by NoN – decided to shine a tiny little light on the whole POKO process (and the funky NDA) – everyone panicked. This immediately brought back the memory of a famous movie {…}

Renault (Harry): Everybody is to leave here immediately! This cafe (public hearing) is closed until further notice. Clear the room, at once!
Rick (Tim Sheehan): How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Renault (Harry): I am shocked- shocked- to find that gambling (incompetence) is going on in here!
Croupier (Bob Barron): [hands Renault money] Your winnings, sir.
Renault (Harry): Oh, thank you very much. Everybody out at once!

The City should immediately increase its “umbrella” insurance policy for liability costs related to civil cases. {…}

Edited to remove references to a public official’s family member and marital relationship. Comments regarding marital relationships and/or family members of public officials, other than those related to official duties or documented, proven illegalities, are not public business and are not allowed, per the comments policy.
https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

Jason Milligan July 18, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Is it true that the city is going to discuss all of this on Tuesday in EXECUTIVE SESSION?

There has been enough secret meetings!!

Let the public hear what is going on. There are lots of smart people in the public. The city obviously needs their help.

Citizens demand they talk in public. Who do they think they are? They work for the taxpayers!

What are they trying to hide other than further incompetence?

Make the discussion part of the public portion of the meeting.

Rick July 18, 2018 at 3:04 pm

It was The arrogance of some of the Democrats to allow this to happen, now what about Bob Duffs 5 million dollar parking garage is that still a go or has the city decided to spend the money somewhere else.

This news comes on the heels of raises for everyone at the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency.Harry will use this as a diversion throwing all under the bus next election.

With the Sono mall changing hands soon any day now wonder if the new owners are watching wondering when a good time will be to let the city know their plans for the mall or whatever they decide it will be.

The joke is on us folks we are seeing GGP in the very last days change most if not all of their properties with new leases and now they are buying out big stores to modify footprints for other things. So does the city go after the new owners or the old ones if expectations are not met.

Isn’t the mall under the Redevelopment umbrella ? If it is the city is in trouble.

Independent Voter67 July 18, 2018 at 3:29 pm

It is completely obvious that Mayor King wants to blame this POKO debacle on the Redevelopment Agency. This is a poor show ofcharacter. The focus should be on resolving this mess and not worrying aboutre-election.

Jason Milligan July 18, 2018 at 5:26 pm

“The McClutchys may not be the official redeveloper but they have been in every meeting about POKO and everyone involved knows that they’ll be submitting a formal request to redevelop Wall Street Place”, Rilling wrote.

Everyone involved knows?? JHM has been around for over a year. What exactly are they waiting for?

They’re waiting for more taxpayer money and relief from providing the public parking that was promised.

Without it there will be NO “formal request to redevelop Wall St Place” No chance!

Michael McGuire July 18, 2018 at 6:47 pm

The end of a long day and I’m sitting in my office musing about things. I can see the newly dubbed Tyvek Temple out the window….my mind wonders.

I can hear the train go by as it blow’s it whistle to alert the motorist at the train crossings. I do some quick math (I sometimes muse on numbers) – the train passes through between Danbury & points south 28 times every weekday and 20 times a day on weekends.

Hmmmm, that’s 9,360 times a year that train passes by Wall Street so, since I’ve been here since 2000 that’s approximately 168,500 times the train went by…..

My mind wonders as to what Wall Street would be like if the train stopped here 168,500 times in the past 18 years….after all we are the 3rd largest central business district in Fairfield County, only surpasses by Stamford and Bridgeport.

What would Wall Street look like if the train stopped here those 168,500 times – the retail would be great and populated mostly by Mom & Pop stores since the traffic count is not enough to warrant national retailers. That would be nice — I like Mom & Pop stores more than the nationals anyway.

The retailers would be supporting a vibrant live/work lifestyle area since the rents would be strong enough for many of the building owners to fix up their places and the historic nature of the place just works. Lots of housing options, great retail….

I keep thinking about Redevelopment’s goal to “activate” the streets and storefronts. With 168,500 trains stopping here that would be creating a lot of activating.

How about the small office sector (still musing), clearly it would would be the backbone of the area – already is, but with a train station it goes to new heights.

And with all this activity NCC might stop looking in Stamford to expand but instead expand into the old Riverview Mall Building since the bus station is right making is it easy for the kids to get around. That might give some peace to the West Norwalk taxpayers close by NCC – parking and traffic issues as I understand it.

Hmmmm….still musing – POKO is not there, wasn’t needed. Duleep’s Indian restaurant is back in business (less than a year after the fire) and the upstairs apartments are all leased. I always like that place (Duleep’s restaurant), it had good food.

The phone rings and brings me back to reality. I stare at the Tyvek building and wonder at the lost opportunity. Such a shame, so much potential.

CT Yankee July 18, 2018 at 8:16 pm

Whenever a Democrat complains that the private sector project is moving too fast it’s because he suspects: A) his opportunity to extort Kickbacks is expiring B) his opportunity to extort campaign contributions is expiring C) his opportunity to place no-show jobs with the Union is expiring D) all of the above.

Ron Morris July 19, 2018 at 12:29 am

Rilling is a big part of the reason that the Norwalk Police Department is the disaster the it currently is. It seems that Rilling is now working on destroying the rest of Norwalk like he did with the Police Department.

Norwalk native July 19, 2018 at 12:37 am

This article and this website are a pathetic waste of
Time. As long as we continue to elect imbeciles to the Executive brandy and Council, the complaints here will not have any significance.

Nancy McGuire July 19, 2018 at 6:23 am

Not only does this newspaper give the usual politicos a place to voice their opinions, but it gives City Hall a place to talk directly to it’s tax payers. And, remarkably, Norwalk’s busy business owners have a place to voice their thoughts. Finally, we are hearing from them. This is a welcomed change from the standard, edited statements coming out of “executive” meetings and backroom deals. I see a great City on the horizon.

Piberman July 19, 2018 at 9:30 am

Maybe we’re seeing a change in City Hall ahead of the elections. First, a letter by the Mayor responding to critics of his so called “Reorg Plan”. Then another letter castigating the Revelopment Agency. Will there be one on our punitive taxes, falling property values and long stagnant Grand List ? Beginning to look like City voters are rethinking our long standing policy of not having any requirements for overseeing our $400 million budget.

EnoPride July 19, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Michael McGuire, so many of us feel the way you do. Thank you for your thoughts and sharing your vision of what our diamond in the rough Wall Street “could have been” all these years. What you have taken the time to write so poignantly is significant and much appreciated. I hope it inspires more residents to write in. Power in numbers. So much opportunity has been squandered than is deemed acceptable for a city center which could easily have been robust and thriving with a train line, a trolley line, Mom and Pop shops, some art galleries and small music venues, etc., under proper management and planning. You, all who work and own businesses in that area, and all of Norwalk’s taxpaying residents, deserve that landscape and deserve a more efficiently structured, more business savvy, more results driven City Hall which will fight harder and with a sense of urgency to give that to you. It’s long overdue for our increasing taxpayer dollars. I admire all businesses who have stuck it out and continue to stick it out in that area as City Hall would be in even deeper if these businesses all decided to get out. Don’t take these folks for granted, City Hall. They deserve so much more.

I am sorry that you have to look at the Tyvek Temple as a constant reminder. I wish the Tyvek Temple was on the doorstep of City Hall. I wonder… if it was, quite literally, on City Hall’s doorstep, would seeing it every single day in all it’s unfinished glory stop the Mayor and his team dead in their tracks and focus them in to more urgently and practically solve the problem, or would they continue to blindly dance around the Tyvek Temple, pointing fingers, placing blame, threatening lawsuits, and tying Mr. Milligan to it on the way around? Now that would make for a great political cartoon, wouldn’t it? What a visual…

Nancy McGuire, I too see a great city on the horizon, just with markedly different leadership! This site is such an important platform for inspiring all residents who want to open up dialogue, vent, share their vision, concerns, ideas, etc. We are fortunate to have a place to put it all out there.

P.A. July 22, 2018 at 2:50 pm

The city of Norwalk did not perform their due diligence when hiring Robert Russo and Associates. Look up the court documents related to the Thornton Building at 149 Water Street. Russo grossly mismanaged the Thornton estate – its all in the court documents. This will cost the city of Norwalk.

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