SMOC sues town, local residents October 24, 2007
D. Craig MacCormack 508-626-4429 Metrowest Daily News

FRAMINGHAM - The area's largest social agency this morning filed a lawsuit in federal court, naming several town officials and prominent residents as part of a systematic ef fort to drive social services from town.

The lawsuit alleges an "unlawful pattern of discrimination" against social servi ces by Framingham officials, including the Planning Board, some selectmen, town administrators and other residents.

Jim Cuddy, executive director of South Middlesex Opportunity Council, confirmed the filing but would not comment on the specifics.

Town Manager Julian Suso, who is named among several defendants, referred all qu estions to Town Counsel Christopher Petrini, who could not be reached for commen t this morning.

Precinct 1 Town Meeting member Steve Orr, who oversees Framingham Neighbors, a t ownwide e-mail discussion group focused on town government, has not seen the law suit, but is also included on the defendant list.

"I find the whole thing to be consistent with the pattern of behavior of social service agencies and the people on the side of expanding them," he said.  " At every possible opportunity, they're going to take the position that we're try ing to throw people out of town or shut programs down.

"We're trying to gain control of the rate of expansion," said Orr.

Also on that list is Delmar Avenue resident Harold Wolfe, who created a Web site The Web site has not been updated recently, said Wolfe.

"Why am I being sued for stating my opinion?" asked Wolfe, who also had not seen the filing.

The defendant list also includes selectmen Chairman Dennis Giombetti, Vice Chair man Jason Smith and member Ginger Esty; Planning Board members Ann Welles, Sue B ernstein, Carol Spack and Andrea-Carr Evans; Human Services Coordinator Alexis S ilver; resident Anthony Siciliano; and Town Meeting members Peter Adams, Cynthia Laurora and Laurie Lee.

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