Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank and his husband James Ready have sued a Massachusetts contractor over the construction of their $350,000 beach house in Wells.
The couple claims in the lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland that Shaun Madden Contracting of Burlington walked off the job in May after completing a little over $208,000 worth of the work. Frank was a 16-term member of the U.S. House from Massachusetts and became the first member of Congress to come out as gay in 1987. He has been living in Maine part-time since leaving Congress in 2013.
Frank and Ready allege that they paid for the construction up front and that Madden has returned just $50,000 of what they are owed. The couple claim that the contractor owes them nearly $92,000 of the original payment and another $31,656 paid to correct Madden’s siting of the house too close to the abutting road.
The couple are seeking to be repaid $123,549, unspecified civil penalties and attorney fees.
The contract, signed Sept. 1, 2019, and filed as an attachment to the court complaint, called for a 1,064-square-foot home with an elevator but did not specify the number of bedrooms. The work included the demolition of an existing building.
Madden did not immediately return a request for comment.
Frank, 80, and Ready, 51, were married in July 2012 in Newton, Massachusetts. Frank, a Democrat, at the time became the first sitting congressman to enter into a same-sex marriage.