Letter from GHS Neighbor: All Polluted Soil Must Be Removed from GHS

shallow soil contaminationThe following was submitted to Greenwich Free Press by Bill Effros of Old Church Rd in Greenwich on Aug. 12:

Aug. 12, 2015

Mr. Peter Tesei
First Selectman
Town of Greenwich

Dear Mr. Tesei:

As part of a July 22, 2003 Stamford Superior Court Stipulation and Order of Judgement, The Town of Greenwich is required to permit me to monitor activities at 10 Hillside Road 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year.

On June 23, 2009 I was arrested at my home; ordered into a police car; shackled to a wall in the police station; not given a Miranda warning; interrogated without access to a lawyer; booked; fingerprinted; photographed; entered into the FBI database; relieved of all my possessions; thrown into a jail cell; placed on suicide watch; and charged with “Trespassing in the First Degree at Greenwich High School”.  The arresting officer stated in the police report I had been arrested at Greenwich High School.

The arresting officer told me I would remain in jail if I did not agree, as part of my bail, to not, again, set foot on Greenwich High School property until my trial, under penalty of immediate re-arrest.

Because “Trespassing in the First Degree” carries the possibility of up to a year in jail, I hired a Defense Attorney who told me to stay off the High School Grounds, notwithstanding the Court Order, until the Town either dropped the charges, or I was acquitted.  (The Greenwich Police are aware of the fact I made a video of my arrest, and can prove I was not arrested at Greenwich High School–a requirement for the “First Degree Trespassing” charge.)

I was arraigned in Stamford Superior Court, placed on “1-Hour Trial Notice” (meaning I had to be prepared to defend myself for a jury trial that could be scheduled on extremely short notice) and had to repeatedly reappear in Court only to learn The State was not prepared to prosecute, and my trial would be postponed for another month or two.

Notwithstanding my 6th Amendment Constitutional right: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.”

I was never brought to trial.

For 5 ½ years, the Town put enormous pressure on me and my family to try to force me to plead guilty, accept a small fine, and agree to never again set foot on the Town’s 10 Hillside Road property.  During this time the Town held meetings about MISA and Soil Remediation at Greenwich High School I could not attend; ran tests at 10 Hillside Road I could not challenge; and began work on huge remediation projects I could not monitor.

On January 30, 2015 the Town dropped all charges against me.

The decision to permanently bury toxic waste under MISA, instead of removing it, will destroy my property’s value, as well as the property values of everyone adjacent to this massively polluted site.  (More than 100 neighboring properties are directly affected.)  Changing the zoning at the High School to permit Toxic Waste Storage is specifically prohibited as one of the terms of the Court Order.

I will file a Motion in Stamford Superior Court, asking the Court to find The Town of Greenwich in Contempt, and to compel The Town to stop work at 10 Hillside Road, remove ALL polluted soil; test ALL neighboring properties and waterways for pollution; and award damages to me and my neighbors as part of the stipulations made part of the Court Ordered Settlement.

Bill Effros

Stipulation and Order of Judgment, Docket Number CV-01-0186121-S
Stipulation and Order of Judgment, Docket Number CV-02-0187823-S
Stipulation and Order of Judgment, Docket Number CV-02-0190416-S


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