NoLNGinPVD Calls for Resignation of Coastal Resources Management Council’s Cervenka
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
The call for Cervenka’s resignation comes just days after a public hearing was held in Providence to discuss National Grid’s need for a Liquefied Natural Gas facility in Providence.
In a letter sent to Governor Gina Raimondo on Monday, NoLNGinPVD Campaign Coordinator Monica Huertas says that Cervenka’s actions in relation to National Grid LNG, LLC have been “filled with bias, undisclosed conflicts of interest, and violations of free speech and due process.”
Cervenka did not respond to request for comment.
"On November 14, 2017, during the first hearing Ms. Cervenka interrupted and attempted to prematurely end the testimony of an individual speaking about environmental racism, claiming it was not relevant. During the second hearing on November 28, 2017, Ms. Cervenka similarly interrupted a resident of the neighborhood where the facility would be sited, attempting to cut her off mid testimony and well before the end of allotted time. On this occasion, Ms. Cervenka pounded a gavel and told the resident “No, you can sit down. You’re done. No. You can sit down. I’m taking a break.” Ms. Cervenka then got up from her seat and left the table, bringing the majority of the Council with her, while Capitol Police surrounded and menaced the speaker, taking away her microphone while she was still speaking," says the letter.
The letter goes on to list what they believe are acts of bias:
- While Ms. Cervenka was previously employed at Holland & Knight LLP, National Grid LNG’s lawyer Robin Main was a partner at the firm with oversight over Cervenka;
- While at Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, Cervenka represented polluting companies against enforcement action by DEM and EPA including in a case of a Getty oil spill in a coastal area of East Providence that resulted in a lawsuit against DEM;
- Cervenka’s new firm Cervenka Green Ducharme Antonelli, LLC (CGDA) took a case from Hinckley Allen (which represents National Grid LNG through Robin Main) in a suit against the EPA to halt the cleanup of the Centredale Manor Superfund site in North Providence and suspend a $40 million fine against the company that CGDA represents.
- Cervenka has ties to National Grid through her leadership position at the RI Chamber of Commerce Coalition, a position that she held concurrently with her position on the council;
- Cervenka displayed blatant bias against members of the public who are directly affected by the Council’s decision, resulting in a loss of public faith for an unbiased outcome.
The letter concludes “ If Ms. Cervenka does not voluntarily resign from the Coastal Resources Management Council, for which she has shown herself to be unfit, and in which she has demonstrated bias and ignored due process, we call on you, Governor Raimondo, to remove her from that position.”
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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