Spurned Warren House bidders asked state to investigate process

The Captain Warren House. — File photo by Steve Myrick

The office of state Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha has rejected a request from the losing bidders for the Captain Warren House to investigate Edgartown’s bid process.

On September 23, Edgartown selectmen accepted a bid of $2.5 million from Jeffrey Wolk of Chestnut Hill. Selectmen rejected a bid in the same amount from Wayne Grigull and Janet Hiebert of London because a property map submitted with the offer included a part of the sidewalk, which is owned by the town.

“Last week, right after the bid was awarded for the purchase of the Warren House, the people who weren’t awarded contacted the inspector generals office and requested that they investigate the process,” town administrator Pamela Dolby told Edgartown selectmen at their regular meeting Monday.

Ms. Dolby told selectmen she had been in touch with town counsel Ron Rappaport, who said the inspector general’s office would not pursue the investigation.

“They’re not going to investigate it at all; they’re satisfied that the process was followed correctly,” Ms. Dolby said. “Now that’s not to say that they [the losing bidders] are not going to take this to court. I don’t know what will happen next.”

On September 16, selectmen took two $2.5 million bids under advisement before consulting with Mr. Rappaport.

Selectmen voted unanimously to accept Mr. Wolk’s bid.

“The sidewalk is on town property, so unfortunately this bid makes it contingent on buying the sidewalk, which we have no authority to sell without a town meeting vote,” Mr. Rappaport said at the September 23 meeting.

Ms. Dolby said Monday the town has received a $250,000 down payment from the winning bidder, Mr. Wolk, for the building, and they are now proceeding to close the deal. Mr. Wolk plans to turn the decaying house into a private residence.

The town bought the Warren House for $3.5 million in 2004, as part of a plan, later abandoned, to expand the Edgartown Library, which abuts the Warren House. A new town library is now under construction at the site of the town’s former elementary school.