PORTLAND, Maine — Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rosa Scarcelli, who launched two recent lawsuits against her mother, has prevailed in one of them.
The Portland businesswoman, who rose in profile with an unsuccessful campaign for the 2010 party gubernatorial nomination, convinced U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal that her mother, Pamela Gleichman, was improperly attempting to sell a low-income housing development in Connecticut for personal gain.
Gleichman and Scarcelli are both partners in the legal group that controls the 42-unit Oak Knoll Apartments in Norwalk, Conn.
Singal ruled in favor of Scarcelli in the case Thursday, making permanent an injunction forcing Gleichman to secure the written consent of Scarcelli and Christopher Coggeshall, a project stakeholder representing the Promenade Trust, before selling the complex. The judge also agreed with Scarcelli that Gleichman is not entitled to any proceeds generated from such a sale, if it were to happen.
Scarcelli and Gleichman are adversaries in another case playing out in U.S. District Court as well. In that suit, Scarcelli is attempting to prove that she is the legal majority owner of GN Holdings, a low-income housing development firm, in part to establish her authority to fire Gleichman from managing a slate of subsidized apartment complexes in Maine.
In both cases, Scarcelli is alleging that her mother is not adequately maintaining the housing projects. In the GN Holdings case, Gleichman and her husband, Karl Norberg, have countersued, claiming in part that Scarcelli improperly used her stake in the shared projects for personal expenses, including to help fund her political campaign — claims Scarcelli has sought dismissal of.
In the Oak Knoll case, Scarcelli hopes Thursday’s decision by Singal paves the way for reinvestment into the Connecticut property, not the sale of it, Scarcelli’s attorney said Friday.
“She wants to bring forward clean, affordable housing for people, and we believe money should be infused into that project and not used for other purposes,” said Paul Driscoll of the Portland law firm Norman, Hanson & DeTroy. “It won’t be at risk of being sold and the money misapplied elsewhere.”
Driscoll said his team was able to prove in court that Gleichman intended to sell the Oak Knoll project in an effort to help turn around her troubled personal finances.
“As a result of Pamela Gleichman’s adverse financial circumstances, Pamela Gleichman has exercised her powers as managing general partner in Oak Knoll LP solely for the benefit of her personal circumstances to the clear and obvious detriment to the other general partner and the limited partner in Oak Knoll LP,” wrote Scarcelli’s attorneys in a court filing, a statement declared to be factual in Singal’s ruling.
Neither Gleichman nor any attorney representing her filed a response to the lawsuit. In the concurrent GN Holdings case, attorneys representing Gleichman, Norberg and GN Holdings were allowed to withdraw because of what the attorneys described as a dispute with the couple over payment, leaving the defendants without current legal counsel.
“If someone doesn’t answer [a lawsuit], that’s obviously bad for them,” Driscoll said. “But the party bringing the case still has to prove the case, and provide evidence to support that case.”