New hearing for Champlin's Marina caseCall for chair’s recusal after alleged critical remarks
The Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) has set a new hearing date for February 12, to continue the ongoing appeal by Champlin’s Marina to expand its operations into the Great Salt Pond. The marina’s most recent appeals have been based on the charge that the CRMC applied unfair standards in denying its application for expansion while allowing one for Payne’s Dock.
A January 17 hearing to address these issues was cancelled before it even began after Champlin’s attorney Robert Goldberg made a motion calling on CRMC Chair Ann Maxwell Livingston to recuse herself, charging that she had spoken inappropriately about the case.
Just after the cancelled hearing, CRMC counsel Brian A. Goldman said that the chair needed time to respond to the motion. One day later, on January 18, Goldberg filed a motion of contempt in Superior Court, and on January 22, the CRMC countered with a motion objecting to the contempt motion. After a hearing on January 24, Judge Kristin Rodgers denied Champlin’s contempt motion.
Goldberg’s original motion was accompanied by an affidavit signed by Gerald Zarrella, formerly a member of the CRMC, who alleged that after an introduction to Livingston in Providence, Livingston volunteered her disdain for Goldberg and the Champlin’s case. Zarrella alleged that she said, “I can tell you right now that they’re [Champlin’s] not going anywhere with that argument. Those two marinas [Champlin’s and Payne’s] are not the same and they’re nothing alike … It is ridiculous to compare the applications … [Champlin’s] is wasting everybody’s time.”
The February 12 hearing is to address two issues: whether the chair should recuse herself and whether to continue the hearing on Champlin’s appeal. The latest hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Department of Administration, 1 Capitol Hill, Providence.