Casino Money May Go to Pay for Town Council’s Lawsuit Gambles


So, Tiverton has this big influx of revenue coming with the Twin River casino, and it sure does appear that the Town Council could lose a lot of it in court, as residents and local businesses win lawsuits related to reckless or poorly executed enforcement actions.  Here’s one instance, from Tiverton Fact Check:

The town approved an incorrect site plan for McLaughlin’s garage, allowing him to build it too close to his property lines, and later told him to take it down.  In February 2016, the town voted to hire a demolition crew one week after a court order allowed it to do so and knocked the garage down, even though litigation was ongoing.  Rather than wait for McLaughlin to exhaust all of his court appeals, the Town Council decided it was an urgent matter to remove the garage, which was, after all, still 16 feet from one property line and 22 from another.  It had to send a message to the people of Tiverton.

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The problem was that the wrong town body brought the suit, and now McLaughlin is moving forward in search of millions of dollars in damages.  One wonders how much less likely an incompetent town government would be to insist on arrogant shows of power if it wouldn’t always be able to simply pass on the cost to taxpayers.

  • guest

    This story makes no sense. Casino revenue, zoning violations, lawsuits what’s the point and why should we care? I’m going to guess public labor unions and “big” government are somehow the problem here.

  • Mike678

    From the information presented, it appears the Town officials over-reached and the owner has a good chance to delve into the town’s ‘deeper’ pockets. That said, if the town ok’ed the plan as you state, why not just provide a waiver? What issue drove the need to demolish? It appears there is more to this story.