‘Unusual’ maneuver has developer in court without attorney, officials
North Cambridge residents, city officials and even the city’s attorney arrived in Middlesex District Court in Medford on Tuesday to find their case — problems with the condominium development on Yerxa Road and Rindge Avenue — disposed with, not due to be heard again until July 14.
Developer Joseph F. Perroncello had already been arraigned, without even attorney James Rafferty at his side, even though it was Rafferty who requested Tuesday’s court date, said the city’s attorney, Joseph Amoroso. Perroncello arrived in court at 9 a.m. and was seen by a judge shortly afterward.
“We were all given a notice for 2 p.m. It seems consistent with how things have been handled in this case,” Amoroso said, although he also called it “unusual” in terms of court practices.
A message requesting comment was left at Rafferty’s office.
With no court appearance, there was little to do except exchange notes about the case. City officials Mike Nicoloro, deputy commissioner of operations for the Inspectional Services Department, and building inspector Anthony Tuccinardi took questions from residents Lizzie de Rham, Charles Teague and Michael Brandon, flipping through photos from the site —consisting of three former Roman Catholic school buildings over 2.2 acres in the shape of an L — and assessing how far things have come in six years.
Having just come from the site, Nicoloro and Tuccinardi could say most complaints of the North Cambridge residents have been dealt with, although some only partially. For instance, heavy slates have been moved neatly aside instead of being removed from the site, they said. A stubborn stump remains, having broken two chain saws wielded to remove it. But a pile of asphalt is gone, part of 14 to 20 loads of rubble and garbage taken off in a Dumpster.
But they also confirmed tenants had moved in to a building, the only one of the three that is occupied, before Perroncello had a certificate of occupancy allowing it. “It’s not proper,” Nicoloro said, although there is now a temporary certificate justifying the presence of the leasers.
When asked whether tenants moved in even before the temporary certificate was issued, he confirmed, “They did. We never knew it.”
After the previous court appearance, in April, Rafferty disagreed that leasers had moved in “illegally,” because a temporary certificate of occupancy was known to be on the way.
Nicoloro said at the time that Rafferty’s understanding was wrong.