Vendors Claim RI Commerce Corp Board Member’s Club Owes Tens of Thousands
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
The club is facing an eviction hearing on Thursday November 5 as the result of a lawsuit filed by the building landlord against Manchester 65,which is owned by the Commerce Corp's Vanessa Toledo Vickers, and de facto run by her husband Jim Vickers.
“She’s responsible for it then, she has to pay,” said Alex Lermontov with Alert Fire Solutions, who said that Manchester 65 owes him approximately $15,000 for work he had done on the club. “They don't care about people who help them, and to do everything, how does she have the authority to be on the Commerce Corporation? I will never do any more work there.”
The club, which opened in 2013, was shut down briefly due to fire code violations, according to the Kent County Daily Times -- but was reopened once they were addressed.
“I did a lot of work with [Vickers], I went through electric and inspections. He was supposed to pay me money, he never did. I went through lawyers and collections agencies,” said Lermontov. “He promised he'd pay a certain amount of money a month, we event went to a notary, I never got money. If [Vickers-Toledo] owns the place, she's responsible for it then."
Vickers Toledo’s ownership of the club was not disclosed by the Raimondo Administration on the Commerce Corporation website biography, which was brought to light with community leaders opposed rapper Chief Keef performing at the club.
Richard Ferreria with Giana Enterprises said that he started a job at Manchester 65 that got more expensive, and wasn’t paid for the additional work.
“That guy owes me money, we’re talking $4,000. I haven't talked to [Vickers] recently but karma is what it is,” said Ferreria on Tuesday. “It was a $6,000 [sewer] job that became $10,000. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a contract, or anything in writing, so I couldn’t go after him.”
Ferreria said he does not generally encountered clients who don’t pay.
“If it happened a lot, I wouldn’t be in business,” said Ferreria. “It is what it is. I’m Portuguese. I don’t forget.”
"Unusual to Get Stiffed Like This"
Engineer Ken Hayes with South County Design told GoLocal that he’s owed “several thousand dollars” by Manchester 65.
“We have not been paid in full, I think we were paid an initial 1/3 down,” said Hayes. “We did design work for the sewer system. I bent over backwards to help him. [The town] was giving him a hard time, about what he was doing. I had experience with them. I went to extra meetings, I did two designs…they approved the one I did to save [him] money."
“I never charged him the extra time,” said Hayes, who said Vickers “just doesn’t respond" when he inquires about the money owed. "He doesn’t respond. But every day I get an email telling me what’s playing at the club. In the engineering world it’s unusual to get stiffed like this.”
Vickers did not respond to request for comment on Tuesday.
Related Slideshow: The 10 Most Politically Powerful at RI State House
#10 - Sen. Da Ponte
The Senate Finance Chairman pushed hard in 2014 for corporate tax reform -- and combined reporting -- and was recently reappointed to his fourth term at the helm of the committee that vets the state's budget. With House Speaker Mattiello's talking about eliminating the state income tax on social security, a budget deficit and the prospect of diminishing gaming revenue, Da Ponte will have his work cut out for him chairing the powerful Senate committee.
#9 - Rep. DeSimone
One of the most powerful political players in Providence, the Majority leader wields his influence at the state house as part of Speaker Mattiello's team. Serving in the chamber since 1992, DeSimone rose to his current position with the ouster of former Speaker Gordon Fox in 2014. He will be a pivotal player at the State House for the City of Providence (and new Elorza administration), as the state grapples with a projected $200 million budget deficit, and Providence needs a strong advocate to appeal for what it can.
#8 - Bob Goldberg
The former Minority Leader continues his position as one of the state's top lobbyists, representing a wide range of clients that last year included Lifespan, GTech, Johnson and Wales, and CVS Health, to name a few. Year in, year out, Goldberg -- who is married to RI Supreme Court Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg -- parlays his State House knowledge and connections for his well-funded clients, who in the past have included Twin River when it successfully pushed for table games on the ballot in 2012.
(Goldberg pictured at right.)
#7 - Bill Murphy
The former Speaker of the House continues to wield unparalleled influence as a lobbyist and behind-the-scenes king maker. While he last served as the state's most powerful elected official until 2010, Murphy's ability to exert control at the State House was evidenced by backing now-Speaker Mattiello when the battle to replace Gordon Fox took place. Murphy's lobbying clients range from the corrections officers to payday lending to Twin River.
#6 - Sen. Paiva Weed
The Senate President, who has been at the chamber's de facto top post since 2008, faced a strong challenge this past election season from Newport's Mike Smith, who had been an outspoken opponent against a table games expansion at Newport Grand -- a decision which Paiva-Weed ultimately came to following the rejection of a host agreement by the Newport City Council. Paiva Weed in her opening address of this year's General Assembly session promised to make jobs and the economy her top priorities, followed closely by education. With the school construction moratorium schedule to expire in May, watch to see how Paiva-Weed works with the House and Raimondo administration to address the burgeoning infrastructure needs.
#5 - Sen. Ruggerio
The Senate Majority leader was first elected to the chamber in 1984, after four years in the House, and was Senate majority whip from 2003 to 2010. An administrator for the New England Laborers Labor Management Co-op Trust, Ruggerio's labor ties have helped cement his position of power in the Senate. Despite two arrests, Ruggerio has emerged relatively unscathed, advancing the legislation establishing the I-195 Redevelopment Commission, and pushing for increased parking in downtown Providence by the Garrahy judicial complex
#4 - David Cruise
Governor Raimondo's newly chosen Legislative Director should prove to be much more than that. While Raimondo tapped former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley staffer Stephen Neuman to be her Chief of Staff, the out-of-towner might bring in a fresh perspective, but Cruise knows the lay of the land. Having a Rhode Island political resume that includes serving as a State Senator, Governor Sundlun's Chief of Staff, and top roles at the RI Resource Recovery Corporation and as a traffic court magistrate, Cruise's policy role, while his official one, will be just one in his advisory capacity for the newly elected Governor.
#3 - Leo Skenyon
The Speaker of the Houses's Chief of Staff is the gatekeeper -- and like his predecessor before him, Frank Anzeveno (under former Speaker Gordon Fox), Skenyon is the key to access the Speaker. Skenyon, a former top aide to Governor Bruce Sundlun and U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell, had most recently been the Traffic Tribunal Clerk. The former Chief of Staff to Senate-Majority leader Jack Revens in the 1980s, Skenyon has been at the helm before in orchestrating the chamber's top office. Skenyon enters his first full session at the post along with Mattiello as the agent behind the state's biggest power broker.
#2 - Gov. Raimondo
The state's 75th governor -- and first woman at the helm -- marks the first return of a Democratic head-of-state since Governor Bruce Sundlun entered the office in the winter of 1991. Raimondo however won with just 40.7% of the vote, which gave her the plurality, but not a mandate. Bringing in a number of outsiders for key positions, and shaking up multiple Department directors, the Raimondo administration looks markedly unlike any in recent years. How successful Raimondo is in pushing through her agenda in the first six months will go a long way to determining how powerful she will be in the next four years.
#1 - Speaker Mattiello
The Speaker of the House has always wielded the most power in Rhode Island, and Speaker Mattiello is now the de facto head of state for the second -- and first full -- year. Mattiello emerged from the 2014 session earning plaudits from a wide range of supporters for pushing through a cut in the corporate income tax and changes to the estate tax. Now, as a new General Assembly has just gotten underway, Mattiello is eying eliminating the state income tax on social security, before the Governor has submitted her budget proposal. Look to see what the Speaker can -- and will -- accomplish in 2015.
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