NBC 10 I-Team: East Greenwich town manager expected to be fired Saturday
East Greenwich is one of Rhode Island's more affluent communities, with a postcard like Main Street that’s filled with coffee shops and restaurants.
But the town's picture-perfect surface has recently shown a visible tarnish.
“We went from a very quiet great community to one of turmoil caused by Gayle Corrigan over the last 18 months,” said Bill Perry, president of the firefighters union.
Corrigan was officially installed as town manager during the summer. She billed herself as a change agent. Her resume includes turning around a bankrupt Central Falls and the Central Coventry Fire District.
In East Greenwich, she zeroed in on what some in town would call waste and abuse.
“She uncovered a structural deficit on the school side. She uncovered a big structural deficit on the town side. A big mess. We have $86 million of unfunded liabilities in East Greenwich. That comes out to $20,000 per household,” said Sean Todd, who is the town’s now former council president.
Corrigan had the backing of a republican led town council and openly tangled with the fire union, which ended up in court. But in November, voters swept in a newly elected democrat controlled council.
“At the end of the day, residents spoke on the day of the election, they're looking for change,” said Perry.
Thursday night, David D’Agostino, who is the town solicitor, was fired, while the acting Fire Chief Kevin Robinson resigned.
On Saturday, the new councilors will vote to fire Corrigan.
She expects it.
Her office was dark on Friday.
Town employees told NBC 10 she's already packed up her belongings.
Yet, on Friday morning, an NBC 10 camera caught up with her at the Kent County courthouse, still monitoring a criminal case involving a town firefighter.
“Obviously, the new town council would like to go in another direction and I wish them all the luck,” she said.
Corrigan's likely departure brings up the same feelings of her being appointed in the first place. Folks are split.
“She treated East Greenwich like a bankrupt community from the day she walked in,” said Perry.
“I still feel strongly about the fact that we needed somebody like Gayle Corrigan in East Greenwich to find these issues out so they could be fixed,” said Todd.
If Corrigan is fired on Saturday, she does not go empty handed. According to the terms of her contract obtained by NBC 10 she will receive six months of a $160,000 a year salary, plus health benefits.
A vote is expected at town hall at 9 a.m.