Dec 5, 1997 Case Number: W97-504 Case Filed:
My name is Richard Garganta. I have first hand knowledge of a case in Wash. County Superior Court titled Garganta v Mobile Village et al. The presiding Judge is Justice Thunberg. The notice of wrongdoing filed in the case follows:
Be advised that on the hearing before this Court on 11-17-97, Attorney Peter Olsen did willingly and knowingly make a false statement. Att. Olsen stated on the record Richard Garganta had filed a suit against Judge Higgins. As of 11-17-97 Att. Olsen's statement is a lie. It appears said statement was meant to inflame or negatively affect the Court's judgment regarding Mr. Garganta. Action Taken: Notice filed with case, ethics violation filed. The answer came back, "We see no wrong doing."
This ethics complaint was filed 4-18-97 by Francis Varin, President of Mobile Home Owner's Rights, Inc.
A. In hearings with Judge Gagnon on or about 10-6-96 Att. Olsen had a letter alleged to be from a previous lawyer for the mobile home park (Att. Boulangier in Warwick). This letter dealt with alleged waivers from the town of Exeter regarding ordinances related to the mobile home park. We were surprised about this alleged letter because:
1. We had been informed by the Town of Exeter that no such waiver existed and had personally implemented an exhaustive search of Exeter archives and
2. we had sent a certified letter to Att. Olsen months before requesting copies of any proofs of waivers from the town. Att. Olsen never responded and
3. waivers are voted on at town meetings and no record exists of waivers granted to the mobile home park.
B. Attorney Olsen emphatically stated to Judge Gagnon and us that he would get us a copy of this letter immediately.
C. Att. Olsen brazenly lied during this hearing and has steadfastly refused our continued requests for this documentation.
D. Att. Olsen is misusing and abusing procedures, practicing willful deception during hearings and willfully failing to correct wrongdoing while confusing this behavior with "zealously defending his client."
E. Att. Olsen is willfully denying us due process.
F. Att. Olsen is willfully sabotaging our right to discovery.
Att. Olsen's response to the Disciplinary Board stated his recollection was that he was to contact Mr. Bollengier , the park's prior attorney, to ascertain what the status of certain issues were. [Note: no direct denial or addressing of Mr. Varin's assertion] A letter from Mr. Bollengier was attached showing a phone conversation between Mr. Olsen and Mr. Bollengier took place on 11-26-97. Mr. Bollengier's letter shows Mr. Olsen raised the issue of waivers from the town of Exeter during the conversation. No waivers from the town were mentioned in Mr. Bollengier's letter. [Note: what about the letter Att. Olsen waved around at the hearing?] Mr. Olsen's response to the Board also alleges he was waiting for information from the tenant's association. Curiously he never states what the information was. Mr. Varin has documents showing demands for Att. Olsen's mysterious letter after the hearing. Mr. Olsen could not show requests for information not received. Mr. Olsen also sent several unrelated documents to the Board in an obvious attempt to influence the Board's thinking.
Note that as of 12-10-97 no proof of waivers from the town of Exeter have been produced. The story has now changed that the previous lawyer has been unable to find it. The following followup was sent to Mr. Curtin at the Board on 12-16-97.
Dear Mr. Curtin,
We would like an explanation regarding a response we received from you on 5-5-97 regarding a complaint we filed against Att. Peter Olsen. The issue of the letter detailed in our complaint of 4-18-97 was never addressed in Att. Olsen's response of 4-29-97. The letter supplied by Att. Olsen could NOT have been the one he waved around at the meeting because the date of the letter supplied is later than the date of the meeting in question. You may be interested in knowing that Att. Olsen is now claiming there is a waiver which the previous attorney hasn't yet uncovered from his files. If that is true, what was Att. Olsen waving around at the meeting in question? Apparently, Att. Olsen deliberately and willfully attempted to deceive hoping the "lie would fly." We are requesting one of the following:
A statement from you verifying deceptive tactics like the one used by Att. Olsen is acceptable by the Disciplinary Board and in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct or
A follow up with Att. Olsen demanding he address the allegations of our complaint directly instead of side stepping and raising other irrelevant issues. Said response from Att. Olsen should provide the letter he was waving around at the meeting in question or an admission of wrong doing.
Otherwise, the process of review by the Disciplinary Board on this matter is a sham and will be so listed on Caught.net.
Francis Varin, President
Mobile Home Owner's Rights, Inc.
Note: The Rhode Island Supreme Court Disciplinary Board has stated on the phone that lying by Attorneys was considered by the Council as being in the "grey area" and was not something they considered important or worthy of Council action.
Filed 12-8-97 This involves 2 complaints. One was filed by Richard Garganta, a tenant in Mobile Village asserting he suffered a retaliatory eviction and a separate complaint filed by Francis Varin, President of Mobile Home Owner's Rights Inc, the tenant's association in Mobile Village. Due to similarity, the 2 complaints are combined into one.
A. Att. Peter Olsen (#2109) committed extortion and acted in collusion to commit extortion with his client Jin Kulsic.
B. During the later part of 1995 Mobile Village Inc. was attempting to have a dialogue with Mobile Village regarding long standing problems, health, safety and code violations. Mobile Village initiated mass eviction proceedings using certain letters of the alphabet in retaliation for the tenant's action. In the interim, the issues brought before the court [a TRO] became mute and the case was dismissed. Att. Olsen stated the evictions were stopped. Judge Savage refused to address the issues of costs when Att. Olsen raised the issue.
C. Shortly thereafter, Att. Olsen sent a letter to them stating he and Mr. Kulsic [his client and Manager of Mobile Village] decided it would be fair for tenants to pay half of Mobile Village's legal expenses. Att. Olsen demanded they send him half of his clients expenses. Att. Olsen's notice had a court date and a demand telling them if they did not pay half of his clients expenses, he would continue the evictions in Court.
D. Note Att. Olsen and Jin Kulsic were pursuing evictions against tenants that were paying rent. At this point, the sole reason for the evictions was a refusal to pay half his clients legal expenses. Clearly, this was extortion, retaliatory action and a blatant attempt at punishing tenants for exercising their Constitutional right of redress, all of which is forbidden by Rhode Island law.
E. Mr. Olsen and Mr. Kulsic stood out in the hall of Washington County Court like cashiers collecting moneys from frightened poor and elderly people the day the evictions were to be prosecuted.
This complaint involves all matters related to litigation involving Mobile Village Inc., Jin and Laura Kulsic, Richard Garganta and Mobile Home Owner's Rights Inc.