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A Hummel Report Investigation

Sliding Scale of Enforcement

For more than a decade a business owner in Scituate who hauls crushed cars has violated a directive from the town’s building official  not to store scrap metal on his property. That business owner also happens to be the town council president, who is adamant that he has `grandfather rights’ to run his business. But a Hummel Report investigation that began six months ago includes documents from the town that say otherwise.

Click here to see the documents shown in the report.


On a clear and crisp Monday morning in April, Charles Collins Jr. is ready for a ride.
Collins hops in the cab of a tractor-trailer truck loaded with crushed cars that has been sitting in the driveway next to his Scituate home and adjacent business all weekend.
After hitting the road, Collins makes a quick stop for something to drink at this gas station on Plainfield Pike, then hops onto Route 295 north. His destination today: Boston. More specifically a metals recycling company just north of the city, where he drops off the load.
During the day Collins hauls scrap around various parts of New England. It’s work that he’s done for more than a decade since retiring as deputy chief of the Scituate Police Department.
But Collins wears another hat as well: on the second Thursday evening of every month you can find him at Town Hall presiding over the Scituate Town Council as its president.
A Hummel Report investigation that began six months ago shows that Collins is violating a directive from the town’s long-time building official, David Provonsil, who told Collins’ father Charles Sr. and mother Sarah more than a decade ago that it was a violation of the town’s zoning ordinance to keep the crushed cars on their property at 220 Central Pike.
So we asked Collins about after the Town Council meeting in June.
Hummel: ``You store scrap and then you take it various places, right?’’
Collins: ``I don’t store scrap.’’
Hummel: ``Well, it’s stored overnight in your truck, right?’’
Collins: ``Sometimes it is, yes.’’

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