WINDHAM – Rent-A-Husband founder Kaile Warren hopes to fill a seat on the Windham Town Council left vacant by the death of Peter Busque.

Warren, who in recent years faced criminal charges that were later dropped, served on the council from June 2007 to December 2008, when he resigned due to health problems.

A year later, he was indicted on charges of securities fraud and theft by deception, after investors in his home repair business alleged they were deceived by Warren about the value and performance of Rent-A-Husband.

In exchange for dismissal of the charges, Warren agreed to pay about $2 million to reimburse investors and to seek civil damages against Preti Flaherty, the Portland law firm that he said guided him through the process of seeking and obtaining investments.

“I was completely exonerated,” Warren told councilors at a meeting Tuesday. He added, “I don’t think I bring any baggage to the council.”

The council decided Tuesday to start accepting letters of interest for the vacant seat that had been held by Busque, who died in September of an apparent suicide. The council is required by town charter to appoint a new councilor. The new councilor would serve from January until November.

Warren told councilors he shared many of the same beliefs as Busque.

Warren filed a lawsuit in March against Preti Flaherty, as well as Portland law firm Marcus, Clegg & Mistretta and Ace Hardware Corp.

Marcus, Clegg & Mistretta represented Warren and Ace Hardware, which collaborated with Rent-A-Husband on a business venture that fell apart in 2008.

Also at the council meeting Tuesday, auditing firm Runyon, Kersteen and Ouellette gave a presentation on its audit of the town’s finances, which drew criticism from members of the public.

Windham resident Martin Shuer accused the town of failing to follow the proper procedure for hiring an auditing firm. He said state law requires that the council vote on that item annually. Instead, Town Manager Tony Plante signed off on the firm without the council’s approval.

Plante said the council hired Runyon, Kersteen and Ouellette many years ago and has used that firm since. He said he sought advice on the matter from the town’s attorney, who told him the town had not violated the state law.

 

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at [email protected]