Setting the record straight
To the Editor:
On June 26, 2014, it was reported by the Warwick Beacon that I filed declaration papers to run for mayor of our fine city, Warwick, R.I.. The article read accurately, at first: “Carel identified taxes as a reason for running. She said they have consistently risen during Avedisian’s administration. ‘If Cranston can do it [hold tax increases], why not Warwick?’ she asked.”
The article referred to my first marriage to Phil Callahan when I was 19 years old (my maiden name was Foster), and went on to say that I intend to open an off-leash “dog beach” in Warwick (with private funds, not tax dollars), like the one I visited in Tampa, Fla. Our dogs deserve one! It included the fact that I’ve been a longtime advocate for animals since the 1970s, and was named as Warwick’s first animal control supervisor. Up to that point, the reporting was accurate and informative.
The article mentioned that I was fired, which is true. To this day, the reason for the firing still confuses people. Previous to my appointment, all animals were accepted at the pound. To make room, however, the helpless homeless little orphans of the storm, afraid and huddled in crowded filthy cages, were “killed.” I started a pet “owner responsibility” program and when the pound was crowded, I’d help owners find homes for their pets but couldn’t take them in. Usually, the pound was full to capacity with strays, abused animals, litters of abandoned puppies and kittens, etc. Weekends, on my own time, I’d hold open house at the pound for pet adoptions. I volunteered very many hours visiting homes and placing the animals. I never “killed” any of the animals, even when I was “ordered” to do so. The animals were clean, well fed and dearly loved by me and my volunteers.
Warwick animal lovers were thrilled. Things were going great! Then came the directive from the Mayor’s Office. One person had complained. The rest of the story is history. I was called to the police station and fired by Chief John Coutcher and warned not to return to the pound. I told him that I absolutely would not leave the animals there without me to protect them. The paperwork showed that their “time was up,” and I knew they’d be killed. Coutcher pleaded with me to stay away from the pound. He told me if I returned there, he’d have no choice but to have me arrested and he didn’t want to do that. I told him that I understood, but we both knew I wasn’t about to let my precious charges be killed. John Coutcher was a wonderful man who really cared about the animals.
I rushed home and made some calls. I returned to the pound along with television crews and many volunteers and supporters. I had taken the chance that the mayor wouldn’t want me arrested with local television cameras rolling. Luckily, I was right. The police stood by and watched us load animals into cars, trucks and vans until every animal was removed. The film crews followed the caravan of “rescuers,” as did the police, as we transported the animals directly to my home, which, at that time, was at 1948 West Shore Road in Warwick. The police were told to stand by to keep the peace, but no arrests!
From the front steps of my house, I made pleas to the public for help. I needed emergency temporary homes for the animals immediately. After several television news broadcasts, afternoon and evening, before midnight every animal was securely being cared for in the homes of loving people who responded quickly and from all directions. Even as I write this letter, tears trickle down my face as I recall all those wonderful people who helped me save the lives of the animals that day. I couldn’t have done it without them. I hope some of you who remember those days come to my “meet and greet” at the Islander Restaurant, 2318 West Shore Rd., Warwick, Sunday, July 13, from 2 to 6 p.m., to have a light snack and reminisce. I’d love that. The donation is $9. Stop by! (737-4080)
In the June 26th article, of course, the unfair and untrue lawsuit, which I’ve been battling since 2007 (count the years) was mentioned. As a pro se litigant, I’ve been holding my own for all these years, however, it hasn’t been easy. Sure would be great to receive a call from a retired attorney with a little extra time on his or her hands!
During my many hours of study (thank goodness for law libraries), I’ve discovered RI TORT LAW AND PERSONAL INJURY PRACTICE RULES #425 & #426, which gives lawyers the “absolute privilege” to lie in lawsuits that they file, “even if they know the allegations are false and malicious.” If you don’t believe it, look it up!
As the case progresses, the media continues to pick up bits and pieces of filings and publishes them, which they have every right to do. When a foreclosure of one of my properties was mentioned in last week’s story, it would have been nice if that reporting had mentioned the fact that the court had frozen all my assets, rendering me unable to collect rents, pay mortgage, taxes, insurances or make repairs, until I settled, which, in doing so, I would have had to accept the vicious lies contained within the lawsuit (an obvious bullying tactic). I refused, and have no regrets for my decision to do so. I do not like bullies and I do not like liars, thus the case continues. Foreclosures didn’t happen due to irresponsibility or incompetence on my part. They happened because of the insanity of Rule #425 & #426, and a judge, who for whatever reason, wasn’t really paying attention to testimony, as proven in black and white by his responses, decision and the court transcript, which, of course, I have. Such a travesty of justice!
So now, after over 35 years in real estate (with excellent credit), I’ve lost all my properties, and several million dollars in equity, which I worked many years for.
The man, whom I’m accused of stealing from, had been a financial investor and I’d done business with him for over 30 years. He and his wife loved my daughter as though she were their own grandchild. Their daughter was very upset about that, and one day, according to what they told me, she flung a picture I had sent to them (to see that picture, you can Google: CarelForMayor.com), off their mantel, screaming, “You only have ONE granddaughter!” That, of course, was her daughter. Jealously is a malady! Enough said!
The lawsuit, which was filed by an aggressive lawyer on behalf of his client, is filled with vicious lies (as allowed by law). It has no merit whatsoever, and he knows it. That is the reason why, since 2007, he has so vehemently battled against the case being heard by a jury, however, he continues to be handsomely paid by “the daughter” of the very dear friend of mine. If this case ever went to a jury, which I have been trying to make happen since 2007 (and am still trying), both the daughter, and her lawyer, would be laughed out of the courtroom. He, however, keeps it going and she keeps paying him to do so.
In error, the Beacon article stated that: “she continues to fight for a trial in an effort to clear her name and pay the $80,000 in legal fees the woman’s attorney is seeking to collect.” On that, I need to set the record straight: I absolutely will not pay that lawyer one red cent, never! The lawyer made a mistake; he tried to bully the wrong person.
Now, back to the business of running for mayor of the city of Warwick. We have to take back our fine city from the politicians who continue to frivolously spend our hard-earned tax dollars, threatening to take our homes, via tax sale, if we don’t pay. I CAN put a stop to that! I’ll need your vote to do it.
Carel Callahan Bainum