Fired Attorney’s Firm Member
Made Millions on Taxpayers
Valley Patriot Staff – November, 2008
Former Lawrence city hall worker Andrea Traficanti will be back in court next month seeking permanent and
total disability benefits after filing a new claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents.
Her claim now is that she is permanently and totally disabled indefinitely and cannot work anymore because of the stress she endured at Lawrence City Hall.
The disability claim was filed last month by her new attorney Michael Torrisi and a Conciliation is scheduled for December 10, 2008.
Traficanti, who is now married to DPW director Frank McCann, (her immediate supervisor), won a stress related workers’ compensation claim last year, filing for said benefits shortly after Mayor Michael J. Sullivan stated that he was about to lay her off due to Lawrence’s severe budgetary constraints.
Traficanti was making $53,000 a year as the projects planner for the city and answered directly to her (then) live-in boyfriend, DPW director Frank McCann; who was under fire for allegedly misspending city money on construction projects.
Traficanti has been out on workers’ compensation for nearly 22 months now and was originally awarded weekly compensation benefits back on May 31, 2007.
Traficanti’s award amounted to $612.06 per week. The award was retroactive from the date of alleged loss (January 4, 2007) to the present, as well as continuing medical costs, attorney fees and expenses. The award was won at a Conference before a judge.
The weekly compensation of $612.06 was based upon her average weekly wage of $1,020.10. So far, Traficanti has received more than $53,000 in benefits and has not returned to work.
The City of Lawrence originally appealed the Conference Award but apparently withdrew its appeal over the summer. At that time, Traficanti was represented by attorney Kathleen O’Donnell of Marcotte Law Offices in Lowell and The City of Lawrence was represented by Attorney William DiAdamo of the DiAdamo Law Office on Appleton Way in Lawrence.
The DiAdamo Law Office no longer represents the City of Lawrence for workers’ compensation cases as their contract was not renewed. They represented the City of Lawrence for both the Traficanti and Jennifer Padellaro workers’ compensation losses (see Paying Attention on Page 12). According to the DiAdamo Law Office, with respect to workers’ compensation, “we were engaged under a contract that paid $48,000 a year.”
Fired for Potential conflicts?
With regard to representing the City of Lawrence against Andrea Traficanti, William and Carmine DiAdamo say they believe that their communication with “the other side” may have contributed to their contract not being renewed.
In August of this year, The DiAdamo Law Office sent a letter to The Valley Patriot stating:
“We see Frank (DPW Director Frank McCann) at meetings where substantial issues are discussed, involving both GLSD and, when we were representing the City, DPW. We also see Frank in the courtyard outside of City Hall and our office. All conversations are amicable and, candidly, I am very impressed with his grasp of complex issues which are critical to the City and which, apparently, have eluded -officials who, I respectfully suggest would do well to acquaint themselves with the problems so that they can better serve their constituents. We are frequently retained for our ability to communicate with the other side, which, ironically, is apparently the reason we were fired here.” (emphasis added)
While the DiAdamo Law Office was representing the City of Lawrence against Traficanti’s workers’ compensation claim, they continued to serve as special counsel for Greater Lawrence Sanitary District (GLSD), where Frank McCann has been a Board Member since the year 2000.
In a letter dated August 26, 2008 from the DiAdamo Law Office about their pay from the GLSD it states:
“We are special counsel for the GLSD for litigation matters. We bill hourly. It appears to me that roughly $25,000 to $30,000 would have been due and owing work performed in 2007.”
Documents from GLSD, however, show payments of $47,731 was paid to DiAdamo Law Office in 2007. Documents also show that in 2006 the DiAdamo Law Office made $108,733 for legal services, (see box next page).
According to a letter by Richard Hogan, Executive Director for GLSD; “Frank McCann is a member of the GLSD Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners approve all bills and contracts and there are no outstanding bills of DiAdamo Law Office.”
Also, according to Hogan, no Conflict of Interest documents (called a 268A) were submitted to GLSD between January 1, 2001 to present. In short, DiAdamo never properly disclosed in writing the potential conflict of interest representing the city against Traficanti while working with her husband Frank McCann on the GLSD board at the same time. DiAdamo also never disclosed the fact that their law office had previously represented the Lawrence DPW as McCann is the DPW director for the City of Lawrence.
Carmine DiAdamo also continues to receive payments from The City of Lawrence in the form of rent for his building in Lawrence. According to the most current lease agreement between Carmine DiAdamo and the Lawrence School Department, dated November 20, 2003, rent payments are made to Carmine DiAdamo as Trustee of 237 Essex Street Realty Trust where the Lawrence School Department rents the first, second, third and fourth floors of 255 Essex Street, Lawrence.
The School Department administrative offices are in the same building as the DiAdamo Law Office.
The term of the most current lease agreement, which was recently renewed, is for a period of 10 additional years. The lease agreement commenced on January 1, 2005 and rent for the first 5 years is listed as $9.51/sq. ft or $344,300.28 per year, plus a consumer price index increase, if any.
From documents obtained by The Valley Patriot, dated from July ,2001 to present, Carmine DiAdamo has received 101 checks, totaling $2,616,362.40 from the city of Lawrence for these rent payments. Some checks are paid to Carmine DiAdamo/owner, while others are made to Carmine DiAdamo/trustee.
Lawrence Mayor Michael Sullivan, who initially laid off Traficanti has been one of the strongest proponents of keeping the school department’s administrative offices in DiAdamo’s building.
Shortly after refusing to renew DiAdamo’s contract as the city of Lawrence’s workers’ compensation attorney, Sullivan hired Newburyport attorney Ron St. Pierre who will be handling the case for the city against Traficanti’s claim for permanent disability.
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