I-Team: Tiverton official retires abruptly; Foreman suspended
TIVERTON, R.I. —
Tiverton Town Administrator James Goncalo submitted a resignation letter during a special town meeting Monday night, which was called specifically to address the NBC 10 I-Team's reports into maintenance foreman Bob Martin.
Council President Edward Roderick announced Martin, who is also the local union president for Council 94, has been suspended for 30 days without pay pending a state police investigation.
An undercover I-Team investigation watched Martin for two months during his normal workday hours.
Surveillance video observed him on town time working as a landlord at his multiple properties, many of them in Fall River.
Martin denied he was on town time and Goncalo denied the I-Team access to Martin's time sheets. However, Goncalo confirmed dates Martin used for sick time, vacation days, personal and comp days.
Every day the I-Team watched Martin, he was on town time.
The I-Team showed the surveillance video to Goncalo.
"I appreciate the fact that you're showing me this, and I will have to investigate," he said.
However, the I-Team also pointed out to Goncalo that someone else in town had recently come to him too.
Larry Faulkner was Bob Martin's assistant.
He was seen in the I-Team's surveillance video hauling lumber off his boss's truck. Faulkner went to Goncalo upset and showed him pictures of work he had done for Martin on town time.
Faulkner was then fired.
According to a termination letter from Goncalo, Faulkner was fired for "excessive use of personal time during work hours."
"You know I'm not one to hurt or harm anybody but what's right is right. Something needs to be done. It can't continue to go on," Faulkner said.
The town called Rhode Island State Police to investigate.
Goncalo did not mention the investigation in his resignation letter, but rather a desire to spend more time with family. He will stay on until Nov. 15.