United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY
A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Community Services, Inc. (“Gilead”), Rainbow
Housing Corp. (“Rainbow Housing”), and the
Connecticut Fair Housing Center, Inc. (collectively
“Plaintiffs”) sued the Town of Cromwell
(“Town”); Vincent “Enzo” Faienza and
Anthony Salvatore individually and in their official
capacities; and Jillian Massey in her official capacity.
Compl., ECF No. 1 (Apr. 17, 2017).
brought claims that the Town of Cromwell and the named
officials (collectively “Defendants”) violated
the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.
(“FHA”), and its implementing regulations, 24
C.F.R. Part 100; the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42
U.S.C. § 12131 et seq. (“ADA”), and
its implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 35; and the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794
(“Section 504”), and its implementing
regulations, 24 C.F.R. Part 8. Id. ¶ 1.
Plaintiffs later moved, and the Court granted them leave, to
amend their Complaint to add retaliation claims under 42 USC
§§ 3617 and 3604(f)(2). Am. Compl., ECF No. 57-1
(June 22, 2018). Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants'
actions “resulted in the denial of housing to
Gilead's clients, who are people with disabilities,
injured Gilead's reputation, finances and ability to
assist its clients. . . caused [the Connecticut Fair Housing
Center] to divert scarce resources to address this
discrimination and frustrated [the Connecticut Fair Housing
Center]'s mission of ensuring equal access to housing for
all.” Id. ¶ 1.
before the Court are Defendants' initial and supplemental
motions for summary judgment, Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J.
(“Defs.' Mot.”), ECF No. 75 (Dec. 7, 2018);
Defs.' Suppl. Mot. for Summ. J. (“Defs.' Suppl.
Mot.”), ECF No. 110 (July 8, 2019); and Plaintiffs'
motion for partial summary judgment, Pls.' Partial Mot.
for Summ. J. (“Pls.' Mot, ”), ECF No. 76
(Dec. 7, 2018), following this Court's Order sua
sponte reconsidering and vacating its earlier ruling and
order, Order, ECF No. 129 (Oct. 15, 2019).
reasons discussed below, Defendants' motion for summary
judgment, ECF No. 75, is DENIED,
Defendant's supplemental motion for summary judgment, ECF
No. 110, is DENIED, and Plaintiffs'
motion for partial summary judgment, ECF No. 76, is
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
a not-for-profit organization, seeks to provide housing and
community-based services to individuals with disabilities in
the state of Connecticut. Pls.' Statement of Material
Facts ¶ 1 (“Pls.' SOMF”), ECF No. 77
(Dec. 7, 2018). “Since 1968, Gilead has offered
residential housing services to thousands of individuals with
mental illnesses and other disabilities in Middlesex County,
Connecticut.” Id. ¶ 9. Rainbow Housing
Corporation is a “sister not-for-profit corporation
that owns and manages Gilead's real estate assets.”
Id. ¶ 2. Connecticut Fair Housing Center is a
“statewide not-for-profit corporation whose mission is
to ensure that all people have access to the housing of their
choice throughout the state of Connecticut free from
discrimination.” Id. ¶ 4.
“Enzo” Faienza is Mayor of the Town of Cromwell.
Id. ¶ 6. Anthony Salvatore is Town Manager for
the Town of Cromwell. Pls.' SOMF Ex. 8, ECF No. 77-8
(Salvatore Dep. at 20:1-4). Before becoming Town Manager, Mr.
Salvatore served as the Town of Cromwell's Chief of
Police. Id. 41:7-14. From February until August
2015, Mr. Salvatore served as both the Cromwell Chief of
Police and Acting Town Manager. Id. He became Town
Manager in August 2015. Id. Until July 31, 2015,
Jillian Massey served as the Zoning Enforcement Officer for
the Town of Cromwell. Pls.' SOMF in Opp. to Defs.'
SOMF (“Pls.' Opp. SOMF”), Ex. 27, ECF No.
86-27 (Massey Dep. at 139:6-15).
Reiman Drive Residence over the Spring and Summer of
around December 10, 2014, the Connecticut Department of
Mental Health and Addiction Services (or “DMHAS”)
approved an application from Gilead to operate a new
community residence for men with disabilities. Pls.' SOMF
March 25, 2015, Gilead, through Rainbow Housing, purchased a
single-family house located at 5 Reiman Drive in Cromwell,
Connecticut (“Reiman Drive residence”) for $352,
047.30. Id. ¶ 11; Pls.' SOMF Ex. 14, ECF
No. 77-14 (Closing Documents, 5 Reiman Drive (Mar. 25,
2015)). Gilead intended to use the Reiman Drive residence as
a community residence under Connecticut General Statutes
§ 8-3, “to serve six or fewer men who would
receive mental health services from Gilead staff, ” and
under the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and
Addiction Services contract, Gilead would provide these
services. Defs.' Statement of Material Facts ¶ 2
(“Defs.' SOMF”), ECF No. 75-2 (Dec. 7, 2018).
“After purchasing the home, Gilead initiated
renovations to prepare the home for occupancy by six of its
clients, with initial occupancy to begin in May 2015.”
Id. ¶¶ 4, 10.
March 30, 2015, Gilead's Chief Executive Officer
(“CEO”), Daniel Osborne, reached out to the Town
of Cromwell's Acting Town Manager, Anthony Salvatore, to
inform him that Gilead had purchased the property and planned
to operate a community residence there. Pls.' SOMF ¶
12. Cromwell residents had also begun reaching out to Town
officials about Gilead's purchase of the Reiman Drive
residence by March 30, 2015. Id.
March 31, 2015, Mayor Faienza stated in an e-mail to
Superintendent of Schools Paula Talty, “There really is
nothing we can do to stop this group home from coming to town
. . . [T]hey are protected by state statute. All we can do is
try to ease any concerns the residents may have.”
Defs.' SOMF Ex. I-3, ECF No. 75-28 (E-mails between Enzo
Faienza and Paula Talty re: “meeting” (Mar. 31,
on March 31, 2015, a meeting took place that included Gilead,
state elected officials, and Acting Town Manager Salvatore
and Mayor Faienza, to discuss Cromwell residents'
concerns about Gilead's plans to open the Reiman Drive
residence. Defs.' SOMF ¶ 11. It is disputed whether
this meeting also involved discussion of Town officials'
concerns. Pls.' Opp. SOMF at 52, response to ¶ 11,
ECF No. 86 (Jan. 18, 2019).
meeting, they discussed holding a public forum on April 20,
2015, for Town residents to learn about Gilead and the
planned community residence on Reiman Drive. Defs.' SOMF
¶ 12. It is disputed whether Gilead or Town and state
officials proposed this forum, but both Gilead and Town
officials ultimately agreed to hold it. Pls.' Opp. SOMF
at 8 ¶ 31, 54 ¶ 12; Defs.' SOMF in Opp. to
Pls.' SOMF at 10, response to ¶ 23
(“Defs.' Opp. SOMF”), ECF No. 84-2 (Jan. 18,
Town publicized the April 20 forum, including through an
official press release “stat[ing] that representatives
from Gilead and DMHAS would provide a presentation regarding
the group home on Reiman.” Pls.' SOMF ¶ 24. A
local newspaper, the Middletown Press, published statements
by Mayor Faienza that “[i]t's important that all
concerned residents come to the forum with their questions
and concerns for Gilead and DMHAS. The goal of Monday
night's forum is for Gilead to answer all the concerns of
our residents.” Id. ¶ 25; Pls.' SOMF
Ex. 23, ECF No. 77-23 (Cromwell to Hear Views on Group
Home Proposed Near High School, Middletown Press News
(Apr. 20, 2015)).
April 20, 2015, the planned forum was held. Defs.' SOMF
¶ 15; Pls.' Opp. SOMF at 9, response to ¶ 35.
Ed Wenners, who at that time “was beginning his
campaign to earn a seat on the Town Council, ”
moderated the forum. Pls.' Opp. SOMF at 8 ¶ 32;
see also Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 41, ECF No. 86-41
(E-mails between Ed Wenners and Enzo Faienza re: “FW:
Cromwell Town Council” (Sept. 19, 2015)). Mayor Faienza
had asked Mr. Wenners to moderate it. Pls.' Opp. SOMF at
8 ¶ 32; Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 34, ECF No. 86-34
(Wenners Dep. at 32:2-33:25)); Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 7, ECF
No. 86-7 (Faienza Dep. at 111:2-112:9).
forum, held at the Town Hall gym, Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 28,
ECF No. 86-28 (Press Release: “Gilead Group Home,
” Town of Cromwell (Apr. 20, 2015)), “lasted
almost four hours. The gymnasium was at full capacity; the
chairs and bleachers were all full, and people were standing
on both sides of the room.” Pls.' SOMF ¶ 27.
Town officials were present, including Mayor Faienza, Acting
Town Manager Salvatore, and other state and local officials.
Pls.' SOMF ¶ 33-38; Pls.' Opp. SOMF at 8 ¶
35; Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 36, ECF No. 86-36 (Press Release,
Town of Cromwell (Apr. 21, 2015)). “Representatives
from Gilead and DMHAS provided some information about the
group home and a general overview of the types of services it
intended to offer to its residents.” Pls.' SOMF
¶ 28. “Over sixty audience members . . . spoke in
opposition of the group home being located at” the
Reiman drive address. Id. ¶ 29. “Two
people spoke in support of the group home, but they were
shouted over by the crowd.” Id. ¶ 30.
Faienza spoke at the forum, stating that “the proposal
is unfortunate and unfair, and we were caught totally off
guard by it, ” id. ¶ 33; that the idea of
restricting group homes in a town by census population, as
package stores are regulated, might be “something that
should be looked into, ” Pls.' SOMF Ex. 7, ECF No.
77-7 (Faienza Dep. at 156:14-24); and “Where does it
end?, ” Pls.' SOMF ¶ 33. Acting Town Manager
Salvatore also spoke at the forum, saying that “in my
opinion, this is not the right location.” Pls.'
SOMF ¶ 38. It is disputed whether any other Town
officials spoke. The day after the forum, the Town issued a
press release that read as follows:
As a result of a Public Forum held on the evening of April
20th at the Cromwell Town Hall, regarding the placement of a
group home at 5 Reiman Drive, Cromwell residents . . . were
able to listen to a presentation by Gilead and [DMHAS]
followed by a question and answer period that lasted from 7
p.m. until nearly 11 p.m.
During [the forum] State and Local Officials as well as
residents were also given the opportunity to express their
concerns. The majority of the concerns centered around the
close proximity of this residence to Cromwell Schools and the
makeup of the neighborhood, which contains a number of
children and teenagers.
Because of the lack of information provided by Gilead and
DEHMAS [sic] based on the concerns by those in attendance,
Mayor Enzo Faienza is officially and publically [sic]
requesting, on behalf of the citizens of the Town of
Cromwell, that Gilead consider relocating to a more suitable
Pls.' SOMF Ex. 28, ECF No. 77-28 (Press Release, Town of
Cromwell (Apr. 21, 2015)).
days following the forum, the Middletown Press published two
articles about the forum and the Reiman Drive residence
plans. One article quoted Mayor Faienza from the April 20
forum, Pls.' SOMF Ex. 30, ECF No. 77-30 (Jeff Mill,
Cromwell Citizens, Officials Adamantly Object to
Group Home, Middletown Press (Apr. 21, 2015) (“The
proposal ‘is unfortunate and unfair, and we were caught
totally off guard by it,' Faienza said”)); and
another quoted Mayor Faienza later saying that “I feel
I owe the residents of Reiman Drive that I stand up and ask
Gilead to consider another alternative site, ”
Pls.' SOMF Ex. 34, ECF No. 77-34 (Jeff Mill,
Officials Fear Men's Transitional Home Will Affect
Cromwell Families, Middletown Press (Apr. 22, 2015)).
after the forum, April 21, 2015, Mayor Faienza sent an email
to a resident, writing:
I wanted to have this forum so the members of Gilead and
DMHAS could see the outrage and concern first hand from our
residents. Everyone did a fantastic job . . . I'm hoping
they reconsider completely and choose not to move forward
with anything. . . Ideally I don't want anything in that
neighborhood or in town at all[.]
Pls.' SOMF Ex. 35, ECF No. 77-35 (E-mails between Tina
Mendes and Enzo Faienza re: “FW: Gilead Group
Home” (Apr. 21, 2015)).
the forum, either Mayor Faienza or Acting Town Manager
Salvatore (it is disputed which) “contacted Town
Attorney Kari Olson and requested that [she] research whether
Gilead's plans for 5 Reiman Drive constituted a community
residence and whether 5 Reiman Drive would be subject to
zoning regulations.” Defs.' SOMF ¶ 22. Town
Attorney Olson sent an e-mail to Gilead Attorney Timothy
Hollister asking for information regarding whether the Reiman
Drive residence was exempt from zoning regulations.
Defs.' SOMF Ex. L-1, ECF No. 75-34 (E-mails between Kari
Olson and Timothy Hollister re: “Fw: Gilead” (May
5, 2015, a special executive session of the Town Council took
place. In a May 4, 2015 e-mail responding to a resident who
had sent a news article about an incident that had occurred
at another group home in Connecticut, Mayor Faienza said that
he had called the session himself, stating that “[t]he
Salem issue really highlights all our concerns regarding this
group home. I have called a special executive session meeting
of the Council for tomorrow night.
also trying to get our town attorney there.” Pls.'
SOMF Ex. 37, ECF No. 77-37 (E-mails between Rob Latulippe and
Enzo Faienza re: “Fwd: Safeguards” (May 4,
2015)). Town Attorney Olson did attend that meeting.
Defs.' SOMF ¶ 23. The Town Council also approved
filing a petition with the Connecticut Department of Public
Health (“DPH”) at that meeting. Id.
6, 2015, Attorney Olson, on behalf of the Town, petitioned
the Commissioner of the DPH to deny Gilead authority to
install a community residence at 5 Reiman Drive on the basis
that pursuant to General Statutes § 19a-507b(c), Gilead
was required to apply for a license to operate a community
residence. Defs.' SOMF ¶ 24; Defs.' SOMF Ex.
L-3, ECF No. 75-36 (Anthony Salvatore and Kari Olson, Town of
Cromwell, Petition to Deny Proposed Community
Residence (May 6, 2015)). The Town also issued a
As a result of Gilead Community Services attempting to
install another community residence in the Town of Cromwell,
Acting Town Manager Anthony Salvatore, with the support of
Mayor Enzo Faienza and the Town Council, petitioned the
Commissioner of Public Health to deny Gilead Community
Services authority to install another community residence in
the Town of Cromwell.
Pls.' SOMF Ex. 39, ECF No. 77-39 (Press Release, Town of
Cromwell (May 13, 2015)). Mayor Faienza reportedly said,
“What we are against is the idea of having this group
home in this particular neighborhood.” Pls.' SOMF
Ex. 40, ECF No. 77-40 (Cromwell Petitions State
about Gilead Group Home Location, Middletown
Press (May 14, 2015)).
15, 2015, Mayor Faienza sent an e-mail to a Town resident
stating that “[w]e are pounding Gilead and DPH is
spinning right now. We will keep [the] pressure on, let's
keep our fingers crossed.” Pls.' SOMF Ex. 41, ECF
No. 77-41 (E-mails between Rob Latulippe and Enzo Faienza re:
“Fwd: Group Home Update” (May 15, 2015)). The
individual responded, “Not to sound like an ass. But -
15, 2015, the Connecticut Department of Public Health issued
a letter to the Town stating that it was not taking any
action against Gilead in response to the Town's petition
because Gilead did not require a license under Connecticut
General Statutes § 19a-507b(c) to operate the Reiman
Drive residence. Pls.' SOMF Ex. 42, ECF No. 77-42 (Letter
from Antony Casagrande, General Counsel, Conn. Dep't of
Health to Kari Olson Regarding Petition to Deny Proposed
Community Residence (June 15, 2015) (“June 15, 2015
25, 2015, at 8:22 p.m., Town Attorney Olson sent an e-mail to
Mayor Faienza, Acting Town Manager Salvatore, and Michael
Zizka, attaching a memorandum dated June 22, 2015, and
addressed to the Town Council. Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 61,
ECF No. 86-61 (Mem. from Kari Olson to Town of Cromwell Town
Council Regarding Gilead's Proposed Community Residence
(June 22, 2015) (“June 22, 2015 Olson Memo”)).
memo stated that “[t]he forgoing memorandum reflects
that any success in litigating over Gilead's new group
home is far from certain, ” and that by pursuing the
petition further “the Town may be criticized for
attempting to shut out those in need of
rehabilitation.” June 22, 2015 Olson Memo at 8. Town
Attorney Olson also stated that “[n]otwithstanding all
of these hurdles, it is my understanding that you wish to
pursue this challenge vigorously and despite the knowledge
that the challenge may fail.” Id.
Attorney Olson also exchanged e-mails with Mayor Faienza and
Acting Town Manager Salvatore on June 25, 2015, stating that
she “would like to send a warning letter to Tim
Hollister (Gilead's Attorney) regarding the anticipated
zoning violations.” Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 76, ECF No.
86-76 (E-mails among Kari Olson, Enzo Faienza, Anthony
Salvatore, and Re Matus re: “RE: Remain [sic]
Dr.” (June 25, 2015, 1:28pm)).
Attorney Olson sent a letter to Gilead's attorney
Hollister, attaching the June 15, 2015 Casagrande Letter and
stating that the Town of Cromwell understood the Connecticut
Department of Public Health's decision to mean that the
Reiman Drive residence was not a community residence entitled
to zoning exemptions under Connecticut General Statutes 8-3e.
Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 78, ECF No. 86-78 (letter from Kari
Olson to Tim Hollister, Re: “Gilead Community
Services” (June 25, 2015)). Ms. Olson's letter
stated that, as a result, the Town of Cromwell would be
issuing a Cease and Desist Order to Gilead for operating a
group facility at 5 Reiman Drive in violation of town zoning
29, 2015, the Town filed a motion with the Connecticut
Department of Public Health to reconsider their decision that
Gilead did not require a license to operate the Reiman Drive
residence. Pls.' SOMF Ex. 43, ECF No. 77-43 (Anthony
Salvatore, Town of Cromwell, Mot. for Reconsideration of
Decision on Petition to Deny Proposed Comm. Residence (June
29, 2015) (“Town Mot. to Reconsider Petition”)).
1, 2015, the Town issued a “Notice of Violation/Cease
& Desist Order” regarding 5 Reiman Drive
(“Reiman Drive Cease & Desist Order”) to
Steve Bull, President of Rainbow. Pls.' SOMF Ex. 44, ECF
No. 77-44 (Reiman Drive Cease & Desist Order (July 1,
2015)). Jillian Massey, the Town Zoning Enforcement Officer,
signed the Cease & Desist Order and copied Mr. Salvatore
on the Order. Pls.' SOMF ¶ 60.
Order stated that Rainbow Housing “appear[ed] to be
operating or allowing the operation of a rooming house /
halfway house or similar venture at 5 Reiman Drive without
first obtaining proper zoning permits, ” and that
failure to comply would result in penalties including the
accrual of fines of $150 per day. Pls.' SOMF ¶ 61;
Reiman Drive Cease & Desist Order.
next day, on Gilead's behalf, Mr. Hollister sent Town
Attorney Olson a letter in response to receipt of the Cease
& Desist Order. Pls.' SOMF Ex. 46; ECF No. 77-46
(Letter from Timothy Hollister to Kari Olson (July 2, 2015)).
Mr. Hollister's letter stated that Gilead's intended
disabled residents and staff were protected under state and
federal Fair Housing Acts and requested rescission of the
Cease & Desist Order. Id. at 3.
7, 2015, Mr. Hollister, Mr. Osborne, Town Attorney Olson,
Acting Town Manager Salvatore, and one other Town
representative met at Town Hall to discuss issues regarding
the Reiman Drive residence. Defs.' SOMF ¶ 40.
same day, July 7, 2015, Gilead placed its first client at the
Reiman Drive residence. Id. ¶ 41.
8, 2015, Ms. Massey advised Mr. Bull that the Reiman Drive
Cease & Desist Order was being rescinded, with the
understanding that no more than two residents would be placed
in the home. Defs.' SOMF ¶ 42; Pls.' SOMF Ex.
49, ECF No. 77-49 (Letter from Jillian Massey to Steve Bull
re: Notice of Violation/Cease and Desist Order for 5 Reiman
Drive, Cromwell (July 8, 2015)). On July 8, Town Attorney
Olson also sent an e-mail to Mr. Hollister, stating that,
“as you know, we are not waiving the right to issue a
new cease and desist upon your notification that more than 2
persons have moved in or if the Town otherwise deems it is
justified based upon the facts, the law and the Town's
regulations.” Pls.' SOMF Ex. 48, ECF No. 77-48
(E-mails between Timothy Hollister and Kari Olson, re:
“Checking in on the cease and desist” (July 8,
disputed whether the two-resident limit was Gilead's idea
or a Town demand. Defs.' Opp. SOMF at 27, response to
¶ 64; Pls.' Opp. SOMF at 31-33 ¶123-126, at 72,
response to ¶ 39, at 73, response to ¶ 42. The
Reiman Drive Cease & Desist Order was the second Cease
& Desist order the Town had issued since January 1, 2012,
the first being to another community residence for people
with disabilities. Pls.' SOMF ¶ 65; Pls.' SOMF
Ex. 50, ECF No. 77-50 (Cease & Desist Order for 9 Elm
Street (Feb. 10, 2014)).
14, 2015, Town Assessor Shawna Baron informed Acting Town
Manager Salvatore that she had “just received an
exemption application from the Group Home, ” and
asking, “We should meet to discuss this?”
Pls.' Suppl. Statement Mat. Facts (“Pls.'
Suppl. SOMF”) Ex. 38, ECF No. 114-38 (E-mails between
Shawna Baron and Anthony Salvatore re: “Group
home” (July 14, 2015)). Mr. Salvatore requested that
Ms. Baron send him a list of other group homes in Cromwell
and whether they were tax exempt and taxable. Id.
15, 2015, Gilead placed a second resident at the Reiman Drive
residence. Defs.' SOMF ¶ 49.
16, 2015, the Connecticut Department of Public Health wrote a
letter to Mr. Osborne advising him that the department had
found violations of Connecticut regulations and/or statutes
at another Gilead property, informing Mr. Osborne that he
could dispute the violations until July 21, 2015, and asking
Mr. Osborne to “[p]lease address each violation with a
prospective plan of correction . . .” Defs.' SOMF
Ex. D-1, ECF No. 75-15 (letter from DPH to Dan Osborne (July
on July 16, 2015, the Town of Cromwell issued a letter to
Rainbow Houisng, informing it that the Town needed additional
documents, including the “estimated average length of
stay of residents, ” before it could consider its
exemption request. Defs.' SOMF Ex. Q-1, ECF No. 75-52
(Letter from Shawna Baron to Rainbow Housing Requesting
Additional Documentation for Tax Exemption (July 16, 2015)).
19, 2015, one of the two residents of the Reiman Drive
residents walked away from 5 Reiman Drive around 6:45 p.m.,
Defs.' SOMF ¶ 51, and later found in Hartford around
10:30 p.m. Id. Gilead prepared an internal review
report on the incident, identifying action steps to ensure
that [the] areas [of weakness in responding to the incident
were] addressed fully and effectively going forward.”
Defs.' SOMF Ex. C-1, ECF No. 75-12 (Phoenix Home
Elopement Incident - ACTION PLAN (July 19, 2015)).
21, 2015, the Middletown Press published an article which
quoted the police as stating that the client had “a
history of substance abuse and . . . assaultive behaviors in
the past, ” and disclosing the individual's medical
diagnoses. Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 86, ECF No. 86-86 (Jeff
Mill, Gilead Client Who Walked Away Prompts New Interest
in Cromwell Group Home, Middletown Press (July 21,
2015)). Acting Town Manager Salvatore was also quoted as
saying that “[t]he town has been and continues to be
opposed to that residence being at that location as we did
not feel that is an appropriate site. . . This incident only
serves to underscore those concerns.” Id.
July 2015, Town residents exchanged e-mails about the Reiman
Drive residence and engaged in conversation on a Facebook
group page entitled “Reiman Strong.” Pls.'
Opp. SOMF Exs. 97, 98, 99, 100, ECF Nos. 86-97, 86-98, 86-99,
86-100 (E-mails discussing Gilead and discussing the content
of planned posts on the “Reiman Strong” Facebook
page about Gilead (July 21-28, 2015)). One resident forwarded
these e-mails to Mayor Faienza immediately after they were
sent. See, e.g., Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 97, ECF No.
86-97 (E-mail from Rob Latulippe to Enzo Faienza, re:
“Fwd: Re: Just for the nieghbors [sic] . . .”
(July 27, 2015) (forwarding an email to Mayor Faienza four
minutes after Diane Uccello had originally sent it to
multiple individuals)). In one e-mail, the same resident
states that he had “spoken with the Town” and
“the [T]own agrees. It's time to make some
noise… It's time to *not* remain quiet.”
Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 100, ECF No. 86-100 (E-mails
forwarded to Enzo Faienza from Rob Latulippe re: “RE:
Time to make some phone calls and send some emails”
(July 20, 2015)).
21, 2015, the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and
Addiction Services sent a letter to “5 Reiman Drive
Neighbors, ” in response to the e-mails from Cromwell
residents living in proximity to 5 Reiman Drive,
DMHAS is aware of the situation described in the
correspondence received and is reviewing it with Gilead
staff. Gilead adherence to established policies and protocols
related to client safety will be included in the review. No.
new residents will be admitted to this housing until the
review is complete and any potential issues are addressed.
Defs.' SOMF Ex. R-1, ECF No. 75-55 (letter from Miriam
Delphin-Rittmon, Commissioner, DMHAS, to 5 Reiman Drive
Neighbors, re: “Cromwell Supported Housing
Concerns” (July 21, 2015)).
July 24, 2015, Mr. Osborne emailed the Gilead Board of
Directors, indicating an intent to ‘move forward with
the implementation of [the program at 5 Reiman Drive] but
advising the Board that DMHAS was conducting a “special
review” of all Gilead programs and would be making
unannounced visits.'” Defs.' SOMF ¶ 62.
25, 2015, Gilead Board Member Frances Ludwig sent an e-mail
to Mr. Osborne, stating:
I think we will want to take a hard look at whether or not
[the walkaway] incident has made things so toxic that to
persist with [the residence program] on Reiman Drive will
just keep the entity alive and make it difficult to ever
recover with lots of potential collateral damage to the brand
Defs.' SOMF ¶ 63.
31, 2015, Gilead Director of Finance Kathy Townsend responded
to an e-mail from Town Assessor Baron, regarding the
Town's request for additional documentation for
Gilead's tax exemption application, stating that the
“estimated average length of resident stay is
unknown.” Pls.' Suppl. SOMF Ex. 27, ECF No. 114-27
(Letter from Kathy Townsend to Shawna Baron (July 31, 2015)).
August 3, 2015, a Cromwell police incident report was filed
stating that a “for sale” real estate yard sign
had been placed in front of 5 Reiman Drive by an unknown
person around 1:25 a.m. Defs.' Opp. SOMF Ex. J, ECF No.
77-62 (Police Report (Aug. 3, 2015, 9:31 a.m.)). “By
9:31 AM, approximately one hour after being called to the
incident, the officer had determined that he was unable to
obtain any other investigatory leads, returned to the police
station, and closed the case.” Pls.' SOMF ¶
August 7, 2015, Town Assessor Baron sent a letter to Gilead
Director of Finance Townsend denying Gilead's tax
exemption application. Pls.' SOMF Ex. 52, ECF No. 77-52
(Letter from Shawna Baron to Kathy Townsend, re:
“Property Tax Exemption Application” (Aug. 7,
2015) (“Based on the information you provided, it does
not appear that you meet the criteria for tax exemption under
[Connecticut General Statutes] § 12-81(7)”).
August 25, 2015, Mr. Osborne and Gilead Board President Ms.
Ludwig wrote a letter to Connecticut Department of Mental
Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Miriam
After a significant amount of thoughtful consideration,
Gilead and its Board of Directors have decided that it is in
the best interest of the individuals we serve that we
discontinue [the program at 5 Reiman Drive.]
As a result, we are formally requesting that the specific
portion of the contract between Gilead and DMHAS relating to
the provision of services through the ‘Phoenix Home
Program' be discontinued at this time.
Defs.' SOMF Ex. C-2, ECF No. 75-13 (Letter from Dan
Osborne and Fran Ludwig to Miriam Delphin-Rittmon (Aug. 25,
2015)). On August 31, 2015, Mr. Osborne met with Mayor
Faienza and Town Manager Salvatore and informed them of
Gilead's decision to close the Reiman Drive residence.
Defs.' SOMF ¶ 69. On the same day, the Town issued a
press release stating that the decision to close the Reiman
was made by Gilead after much discussion and meetings with
Town Officials and residents of the Town who were concerned
with the location of the Group Home because of the makeup of
the neighborhood and the proximity to our schools. . . Town
Manager Anthony Salvatore and Mayor Enzo Faienza applaud
Gilead's decision to relocate the Group Home and thank
them for listening to the concerns of Town Officials and the
residents of Reiman Drive, that this was not the most
favorable neighborhood for them to establish a community
Pls.' SOMF Ex. 65, 77-65 (Press Release, Town of
Cromwell, “Closure of Home” (Aug. 31, 2015).
Mayor Faienza posted the press release on his campaign
website eight days later. Pls.' SOMF Ex. 66, ECF No.
77-66 (Website Post, Enzo for Cromwell (Sept. 8, 2015)).
August 31, Mayor Faienza also sent an e-mail to Town Council
members, thanking them for “staying the course on this
very difficult issue we were dealing with.” Pls.'
SOMF ¶ 85; Pls.' SOMF Ex. 67, ECF No. 77-67 (E-mail
from Enzo Faienza to Town Council re: “Gilead Group
Home” (Aug. 31, 2015)). Even though they “knew it
was going to be a tough battle and we were in uncharted
waters. . . In the end we prevailed for the greater good and
safety of our residents.” Id. One council
member responded, “WHAT TERRIFIC
Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 108, ECF No. 86-108 (Email from
Mertie Terry to Town Council re: “Gilead Group
Home” (Aug. 31, 2015).
Faienza also exchanged e-mails with a constituent, stating,
This was a long battle but it was a fight this Town Council
was ready to fight to [the] very end for. . . . We knew we
were in uncharted waters but all we could do is keep the
pressure on and pray for a positive outcome[, ] and that is
Pls.' SOMF Ex. 68, ECF No. 77-68 (E-mails between Larry
Callahan and Enzo Faienza re: “Thank you from Reiman
Drive” (Sept. 3, 2015)).
September 9, 2015, the Town Council held a meeting where town
resident Diane Uccello spoke: “We always knew that you
stood behind us and were working very hard on our behalf. . .
Thank you for giving our children their neighborhood
back.” Pls.' SOMF Ex. 69, ECF No. 77-69 (Cromwell
Town Council Meeting excerpt, Diane Uccello speech (Sept. 9,
Review of Cromwell's Denial of Tax Exempt Status to 5
September 20, 2015, in response to e-mails from Gilead
Financial Director Townsend, Town Assessor Baron reiterated
that the property had been denied tax exempt status and that
she would not reconsider the denial “[s]ince the length
of stay [for residents wa]s unknown.” Pls.' SOMF
Ex. 55, ECF No. 77-55 (E-mails between Shawna Baron and Dan
Osborne and Kathy Townsend re: “Letter Requesting
Additional Information” (Sept. 8-21, 2015)).
February 22, 2016, Rainbow Housing received a Tax
Collector's Demand Notice for $8, 755.75 in taxes due on
5 Reiman Drive. Pls.' Suppl. SOMF Ex. 34, ECF No. 114-34
(Tax Collector's Demand Notice (Feb. 22, 2016)).
April 29, 2016, Town Assessor Baron forwarded a letter she
had sent Mr. Osborne on September 8, 2015, to Town Manager
Salvatore. Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 95, ECF No. 86-95 (Email
from Shawna Baron to Anthony Salvatore re: “FW: Letter
requesting additional information” (Apr. 29, 2016)). A
few minutes later, Ms. Baron forwarded the Reiman Drive tax
exemption denial letter to Mr. Salvatore, stating:
Let me know if you need anything additional[.] I would highly
recommend that if the Council somehow waives their taxes that
it is shown in a way that we did not set precedence for any
taxpayer not to pay their taxes in the future. It would be
best for them not to waive the taxes in my opinion.
Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 94, ECF No. 86-94 (E-mail from Shawna
Baron to Anthony Salvatore re: “RE - Gilead Exemption
Application Denied” (Apr. 29, 2016)).
minutes from the Gilead Board Meeting Minutes held on May 2,
2016, indicated that Mr. Osborne had a meeting with Town of
Cromwell officials about the denial of the tax exempt status
of 5 Reiman Drive. Pls.' Opp. SOMF Ex. 96, ECF No. 86-96
(minutes, Gilead Board Meeting (May 2, 2016)).
20, 2016, Gilead Attorney Beth Critton sent a letter to Town
Assessor Baron stating, in part, that “Gilead . . . has
asked us to assist it in learning more about the Town's
denial of Gilead's tax exemption application relating to
5 Reiman Road. I would like to meet with you in the near
future to get a better understanding of your
reasoning.” Pls.' Suppl. SOMF Ex. 31, ECF No.
114-31 (letter from Beth Critton to Shawna Baron re: “5
Reiman Drive, Cromwell, Connecticut” (July 20, 2016)).
Ms. Critton sent Ms. Baron another letter on September 1,
2016, with her analysis of the relevant tax exemption
statute, Connecticut General Statutes § 12-81(7),
offering to provide any other information Ms. Baron needed,
and asking Ms. Baron to reconsider Gilead's tax exemption
application. Pls.' Suppl. SOMF Ex. 32, ECF No. 114-32
(letter from Beth Critton to Shawna Baron re: “5 Reiman
Drive, Cromwell, Connecticut” (Sept. 1, 2016)).
September 26, 2016, Town Assessor Baron sent Ms. Critton an
e-mail and wrote that “the Town Attorney reviewed all
of [Gilead's] documentation and in her opinion Gilead
does not meet the requirements to be exempt.” Pls.'
Suppl. SOMF Ex. 33, ECF No. 114-33 (E-mail from Shawna Baron
to Beth Critton re: “5 Reiman Drive, Cromwell,
Connecticut” (Sept. 20, 2016)). Ms. Critton responded,
reiterated her analysis, offered to provide more information,
and stated that Gilead was paying “the outstanding real
estate taxes under protest for the subject property at this
time.” Pls.' Suppl. SOMF Ex. 40, ECF No. 114-40
(Letter from Beth Critton to Shawna Baron re: “5 Reiman
Drive, Cromwell, Connecticut” (July 20, 2016)).
October 28, 2016, Gilead sold the house at 5 Reiman Drive for
$280, 000. Pls.' SOMF Ex. 70, ECF No. 77-70 (Purchase and
Sale Agreement, 5 Reiman Drive (Oct. 28, 2016)).
Second Gilead Property: 461 Main Street
operated another program in a property owned by Rainbow
Housing at 461 Main Street. Pls.' Suppl. SOMF Ex. 22; ECF
No. 114-22 (Letters from Shawna Baron to Rainbow Housing
Corp. (July 14, 2009, and June 13, 2013)). Letters from
Shawna Baron in 2009 and 2013 showed that Gilead had
completed the same application for tax exempt status under
Connecticut General Statutes § 12-81(7), which must be
completed every four years, for the 461 Main Street property
in 2009 and 2013. Id.
October 30, 2017, Gilead submitted the required application
for renewal of its tax exempt status under Connecticut
General Statutes § 12-81(7) for 461 Main Street.
Pls.' Suppl. SOMF Ex. 42, ECF No. 114-42 (Gilead Tax
Exemption App. (submitted Oct. 30, 2017; denied Jan. 2,
2018)). Town Assessor Baron denied the application on January
2, 2018, and stated that she was “unsure what is
happening at this property.” Id.; Defs.'
Suppl. SOMF ¶ 9. She sent a letter to Gilead denying
renewal of tax exempt status for 461 Main Street on January
5, 2018. Pls.' Suppl. SOMF Ex. 43, ECF No. 114-43 (letter
from Shawna Baron to Gilead (Jan. 5, 2018)).
about February 1, 2018, Gilead appealed the tax exemption
denial for 461 Main Street to the Connecticut Board of
Assessment Appeals (“Board”). Pls.' Suppl.
SOMF Ex. 48, ECF No. 114-48 (Letter from Dan Osborne re:
“461 Main Street, Cromwell, CT” (Feb. 1, 2018)).
March 29, 2018, the Board denied the appeal. Pls.' Suppl.
SOMF Ex. 49, ECF No. 114-49 (Town of Cromwell, CT Board of
Assessment Appeals, re: Rainbow ...