Editor's note: The statement below was submitted to The Chronicle on Nov. 1 by Town of Chester Supervisor Robert Valentine, in reference to the paper's recent reporting that Chester is uninsured against two lawsuits recently filed against the town. Following his statement is a response by Susan Bahren, his Democratic challenger.
The insurance company is attempting to deny the town of Chester coverage. We believe we are covered.
They are basing their decision to deny coverage on a 2010 settlement agreement between Chester and The Greens of Chester (Chester Arlington, the previous owner of the property).
They are claiming that the current litigation is part of the previous lawsuit. They were not our insurance carrier at the time in 2010.
The court has decided that the 2010 lawsuit was closed and could not be reopened. The current lawsuit with The Greens is a new action. Our insurance company's argument denying coverage is not valid based on the 2010 settlement.
The town has put our carrier on notice with our attorneys to provide coverage under the current policy. This is the pattern and practice of developers like the Greens of Chester to create alleged discrimination, civil rights violations, fair housing violations in an attempt to circumvent our zoning laws and building codes through litigation and settlement agreements to gain more than they are entitled to.
I just wanted the facts to be on record after hearing comments in the community.
Robert Valentine, Supervisor
Town of Chester
Response by Susan Bahren:
It appears to me that Supervisor Valentine is laying out the strategy that the Town of Chester is going to use in their defense against the insurance company, not the Greens of Chester, in an attempt to have the insurance company be responsible regarding this lawsuit. Although Selective was not the town's insurance company in 2010, they were/are the town's insurance company in 2018/2019, which is the time that the allegations of discrimination were alleged to have happened and would therefore be the agency that would handle these claims.
I will not comment on the last paragraph as it is just conjecture.