Landfill agency claims ex-adviser misused funds

The agency that runs the state landfill in Johnston has sued its former investment adviser and two Providence accounting firms for their alleged roles in corruption and mismanagement at the agency.

One of the suits brought by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. accuses Providence investment adviser Alfred Van Liew and his companies of negligence and breach of contract. The suit alleges Van Liew made improper investments with some of the $100 million in agency funds he helped manage.

The agency has since pulled its funds from Van Liew’s control.

The two accounting firms were accused of failing to report fraud, abuse and illegal activities.

Officials at both firms denied wrongdoing when contacted by The Providence Journal. Van Liew could not be reached.


Fugitive in 1989 sex assault arrested in Mississippi

A Vermont prosecutor says she’s ready to bring back to the state a man arrested in Mississippi 21 years after he was convicted of sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s 7-year-old daughter in Bellows Falls.

Windham County State’s Attorney Tracy Kelly Shriver said Friday she’s known since late last year that 44-year-old Timothy John Vanstean had been tracked to Mississippi by the Vermont Department of Corrections. But she did not know that officials in Mississippi planned to arrest Vanstean on Wednesday.

Vanstean pleaded no contest in 1989 to a sexual assault charge. He faces up to 20 years in prison on that conviction.

Shriver said she didn’t know how long it would take to bring Vanstean back to Vermont.

She said the victim, now 29, has been notified of his arrest.


August tax collection up, but falls short of estimate

Massachusetts has collected $89 million more in taxes during August compared with the same month last year, but that still fell $70 million below the estimate for the month.

Revenue Commissioner Navjeet Bal said preliminary collections for the month totaled about $1.38 billion, up about 6.9 percent from last August. 

Because the state beat its July estimate by about $78 million, the state is still about $8 million ahead of its estimate for the year.


Catholic school ex-employee says gay marriage ended job

A top administrator at a Springfield Catholic school says she was forced out of her job after marrying her female partner last month.

Christine Judd, who served as dean of students and athletic director at Cathedral High School, told The Republican newspaper that she met with school officials on Wednesday and was given the choice of resigning or getting fired.

Judd said she was “hurt,” and is exploring her legal options. Although gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, it is against church policy.

Judd worked at the school for 12 years, beginning as a science teacher in 1998. She became dean of students six years ago and athletic director three years ago.

A spokesman for the Springfield Diocese said Judd resigned, but would not discuss the reasons for her resignation.


Five firefighters plead not guilty to arson accusations

A Massachusetts judge has entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of five call firefighters accused of setting fires in three vacant buildings in Brimfield and Holland.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office says the fires were set on Tuesdays between June 15 and July 13, including two in Brimfield and one in Holland. There were no injuries.

The suspects include 19-year-old Brian Findley of Ashford, Conn., 19-year-old Patrick Elliot of Charlton and 18-year-old Jordan Frank of West Brookfield. Others are 20-year-old Donald Moores of Brimfield and 18-year-old Dylan Lajeunesse of Holland.

They are call fighters in either Holland or Brimfield or both.


Man who killed intruder faces marijuana cultivation charge

A Providence man with a state license to grow medical marijuana who fatally shot an intruder in his home has been charged with keeping more marijuana than legally allowed.

Matthew Salvato pleaded not guilty at his Superior Court arraignment to manufacture of marijuana, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and two counts of possession of a firearm while committing a crime of violence. Authorities say he had a license to grow 24 plants, but actually had 30.

Although police have said it appears that the 22-year-old Salvato shot the intruder who broke into his home in April in self-defense, the case remains open. It is unclear whether the armed intruder was after the marijuana.

Salvato remains under home confinement. His lawyer says he also uses marijuana for medical reasons.