A Hummel Report Investigation
As we near the mid-point of 2013 Jim Hummel has some significant developments on a handful of investigations since the beginning of the year. From a Massachusetts selectman who lost his seat right after our story ran in May and a continued dispute over a right-of-way in East Providence; to a surprising decision on a new harbormaster for Bristol and a recall effort in Exeter.
To see the right-of-way violation notices click here.
To see the homeowner's response click here.
As we reach the mid-point of 2013 - significant developments on investigations since the beginning of the year - starting with a Somerset selectmen who lost his seat - and ran into tax trouble just days after our story ran about him in May.
Mahjoory: ``The Board of Assessors need to get their valuation people out there quicker - if they increased the assessment, no problem. If they want to whatever, the higher the assessment on the property, the better it is for resale value.''
Somerset Selectman Arastou Mahjoory last month, after we raised questions about the legality of a 1,500-square-foot in-law apartment on his property assessed at only $17,000.
Mahjoory said the former garage had electricity and water when he moved in at 497 Chace Street, even though relatives of the previous owner contradicted his story. We found no permits at town hall to convert the space into living quarters.
In repeated interviews with us over several weeks, Mahjoory challenged the town to come look at the property - but the town's assessor tells the Hummel Report that when she arrived he refused to let her inside, saying his mother-in-law had a heart attack. The town increased the assessment anyway and last week sent him a supplemental tax bill for $1,000 that is due next month. That's in addition to the $4,200 he pays now - for a total bill of $5,200 going forward.
Mahjoory - who was up for re-election to the Board of Selectman, lost his seat four days after our story ran. The margin: 83 votes.
In February we told you about a blocked right of way to the water in East Providence. The homeowner insisted she had an agreement with the city to put a fence in front of the path and threatened to sue us over our story. Last week the city told her: take it down.