‘Corruption at its highest level’

Report on Mansion House illegal hookup preceded firing of town employee who blew the whistle.

The Mansion House has been pumping groundwater into the town's sewer system, with what the town referred to as an illegal hookup. — Ralph Stewart

It took the pandemic and the corresponding shutdown of the Mansion House Inn in April and May to uncover an illegal hookup pumping thousands of gallons of groundwater from the Vineyard Haven hotel into the town’s wastewater treatment plant. The illegal hookup was then kept quiet under pressure from select board member Jeff Kristal, in deference to Josh Goldstein, co-owner and manager of the Mansion House and a member of the town’s sewer advisory board.

Less than two months after alerting the town’s select board to the illegal hookup, wastewater superintendent David Thompson was fired — an act that former select board member Melinda Loberg, who was on the panel that recommended Thompson be hired, called “corruption at its highest level.”

“I was dismayed when he was let go,” Loberg said this week. “I believe he has a legal case against the town that there isn’t any reason I can think of that’s legitimate for him to be fired. I wasn’t there to plead that case.”

Her thoughts were shared by John Best, a member of the town’s sewer advisory board, who told The Times Thompson was “doing a great job.”

Loberg said she was kept out of the loop about Thompson’s six-month probation period being extended through August prior to the town election. After she lost to Larry Gomez, Thompson was terminated. “I’m just sad for Tisbury that people with expertise are not valued unless they conform in their work and their opinion to the [select board],” Loberg said.

Select board chair Jim Rogers told The Times he initially erred in telling The Times his recollection was that Thompson resigned. Later, he said his hands were tied talking about Thompson’s dismissal because it’s a personnel issue. Rogers rejected the idea that Thompson was retaliated against. “I would never be vindictive against any town employee for telling us about something like this,” he said.

Thompson, who had been reluctant to speak out for fear it would be seen as sour grapes, agreed to an interview to set the record straight. He did not resign. He shared a letter sent to him by DPW director Kirk Metell, who became his supervisor through a change in job description midway through his probationary period, which was extended beyond that because of the pandemic.

The letter, dated July 8, states, “During this period, your performance has been assessed against the town of Tisbury standards of conduct, attendance, and job performance, and I regret to inform you that you did not pass your probationary period.”

It’s easier to fire an employee during a probationary period.

After receiving Metell’s letter, Thompson asked for a face-to-face meeting with town administrator Jay Grande, but was never given one. 

Prior to his dismissal, Thompson knew his job was in jeopardy. He’d been told by Metell to stop communicating with anyone other than him.

Metell did not respond to a message seeking comment.

“It wasn’t just Mansion House. There were a number of things I brought up that made the selectmen uncomfortable,” Thompson said. He had researched the town’s allotment of flow for the sewer treatment, and found the town was over-allocated. He also brought up an issue with the pumping of sewage from the Steamship Authority ferries and odor problems it was creating for the police station and Main Street businesses.

Now that he’s gone, he’s relieved. “On one hand, it was really unpleasant. It’s like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer; it feels so good when you stop,” Thompson said of his termination. “It was really unpleasant while I was there, but it was really an immense relief to be out of there. Every day was uncomfortable.”

Blowing the whistle

In his report to the select board (who act as sewer commissioners), DPW, and the sewer advisory board on May 18, Thompson, who had been on the job since Dec. 8, 2019, provided the first report on the detective work that led back to his Mansion House discovery. The Times obtained Thompson’s report through a public records request.

“On May 8, 2020, we had already noted steadily increasing pump run hours at the Mansion House pump stations on our high tide cloud reporting. Upon inspection, with the building mostly empty due to the quarantine, substantial flow was still occurring to the station, estimated then at 3 [gallons per minute], conservatively. This would have likely escaped notice under normal conditions, as this site is one of the largest users in town,” Thompson wrote.

Thompson added that the maintenance person at the hotel was asked to check for open valves to account for the excess flow. There weren’t any. 

“Shortly thereafter, a valve somewhere in the building was closed, and the flow to the station ceased. Within a few minutes, the geothermal heat exchanger nearby began to overflow and discharge groundwater into the alley. Standing water appeared in the dirt lot nearby,” Thompson wrote. A leaching field where the hotel’s sump pumps were supposed to pump the water failed, the report states.

In his report, Thompson pointed out that discharge of groundwater or catch basins into a sewer system is prohibited. “How long this connection to the dewatering pumps has been in place, and how long and at what times it has been in use, and how it was introduced into the plumbing, are relevant questions,” he wrote. He attached a document showing the flows from the hotel in 2019 and 2020. “Even factoring in the reduced flows to the facility due to the quarantine, a substantial amount of inflow, previously disguised by the sewer flows from this large sewer customer, is indicated,” he wrote. “The flow directed to the storm drain system at present has created another set of concerns for DPW, now that the flow to sanitary sewer has been halted.”

The amount of groundwater pumped to the plant was estimated at 15,000 gallons per day — just about the same amount that Nelson Mechanicals, installer of the hotel’s geothermal system, said infiltrated the Mansion House basement on a daily basis. In 2010, the company saw an opportunity to redirect the water through a heat exchanger for heating and cooling, and was hired by Mansion House to install a system that was heralded as a green solution.

Brian Nelson, a principal with that company, told The Times his understanding was the groundwater was being pumped into a dry well. He said he had no knowledge of the illegal hookup, and wouldn’t jeopardize his license as a master plumber to do something like that. “That is not by us. That is a highly illegal thing to do. That’s naughty, naughty, naughty,” Nelson said. He later emailed a copy of the state plumbing code that prohibits such hookups.

Despite Thompson alerting the select board on May 18, the illegal hookup at the Mansion House remained mostly under wraps for six months until a Nov. 17 select board meeting, and the hookup remained in place because the brief attempt to have it pumped into that leaching field caused street flooding.

The Mansion House was discussed at a sewer advisory board meeting in May, even though Loberg, then the chair of the sewer advisory board, said she was pressured to keep it quiet by select board member Jeff Kristal.

“I was urged not to put it on the agenda, and I said, I’m not going to collude with this,” Loberg told The Times. “We did take it up, only as an informational thing. There was very little discussion.”

Thompson said he was also pressured not to talk about it, and to give Goldstein time to come up with a remediation plan.

The Mansion House was also discussed at a June 24 meeting, the day after the town election, but there are no minutes from that meeting, and the Zoom video was erased within a week of it, John Best, a member of the sewer advisory committee, told The Times.

The illegal sewer hookup didn’t bubble to the surface publicly until that Nov. 17 meeting, and even then it was discussed cryptically in an apparent attempt to keep it quiet. The Mansion House was referred to as “9 Main Street inflow and infiltration update” on the agenda. That night, Rogers said, “I don’t want to spend a long time on this, because we have the letters on this, and everyone is acting cooperatively.”

Rogers, in an interview this week, said there was no attempt at a cover-up.

During that meeting, Kristal corrected Grande’s characterization of a letter sent to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). When Grande called it a notification of the illegal hookup to DEP, Kristal bristled and called it an update. However, there is no record the town notified DEP, the state agency that regulates wastewater treatment, previously.

A Times public records request asking for any and all documents having to do with the Mansion House illegal hookup showed no prior notification to DEP. 

Best said he was the first to alert DEP, and that was in November. 

Prior to his termination, Thompson had been doing “a great job for the town” by cataloguing sewer allotments that showed the plant would be maxed out if all of the property owners tied into the system, Best said. To him it’s clear that blowing the whistle on the illegal hookup and providing scrutiny on sewer allotments is what cost Thompson his job.

“From my perspective, he wasn’t toeing Jeff Kristal’s line. Jeff wanted to see flow go to new projects downtown. However it was done, he wanted it to happen,” Best said. “When Ralph Packer said he had 3,000 gallons [per day] he couldn’t use, [Kristal] was there pounding on the table to let [developer] Sam Dunn buy that flow.” Dunn is a partner in the mixed-use development planned for the old Hinckley’s property on Beach Road.

The town’s attorney has offered an opinion that having one property owner giving flow to another isn’t allowed. The town can provide increased flow, but it “must be based on a particular, identifiable concern affecting an object of public planning policy or the need to provide for additional capacity in the event of emergencies or other stresses on system capacity.”

Once Loberg was out as a select board member, Kristal became the board’s appointee to the sewer advisory board, named himself chair (boards typically elect a chairman), and convinced a majority to increase the sewer flow for the former Santander Bank, where Dunn is working on another project that’s before town boards.

Kristal has not responded to repeated requests for comment by phone, text message, or email.

How long has this been going on?

Goldstein and his parents, Mansion House co-owners Sherm and Susie Goldstein, have declined to answer how long groundwater had been diverted into the town sewer system.

“It could have been years. It could have been months. We have no idea and they’re not telling,” Best said.

In a previous interview, Josh Goldstein was unable to say how the hookup to the town system came to be. “I had no idea,” Josh Goldstein said at the time. “As soon as it was found, we’ve come up with plans.”

But Thompson says Goldstein knew how to divert the system, and pointed it out to him in the hotel’s basement. “He knew exactly what it was,” he said. “It was with a Fernco; a person could literally take a screwdriver, undo the two bands that hold it, put it in a different location, and the water would go to a different place.”

A Fernco is a rubber sleeve, about eight inches long, that tightens with clamps.

Reached on his cell phone, Goldstein asked The Times for questions in writing. He responded with a statement that didn’t address the specific questions asked.

“With so much going on, as the pandemic closed our inn and health club, as we tried to keep staff hired, filled out all sorts of forms and loans, we were completely open about what we were doing with the groundwater,” Goldstein wrote. “Since 1985, when my parents bought the inn, they have been diligent in following all the rules and regulations of all the town boards. There is no adversarial relationship with the town, or with the town leaders. Like all taxpaying citizens, we have a partnership with our town — citizens and businesses pay taxes, the town provides services, to which we say thank you. Your questions imply that someone did something nefarious, or I had anything to do with the hiring and firing of town personnel. That certainly is not the case.”

Goldstein went on to point out a comment made by Ana de Souza on a previous Times story online. “One could argue that the situation at the Mansion House was actually doing the town a favor, given that the plant keeps track of its daily flow numbers at the plant, and is nowhere near a critical peak-flow concern. That water infiltrating the Mansion House was groundwater, akin to well water, which needs no treatment, save for potentially thermal cooling,” she wrote.

Finally, Goldstein pointed out that Tuesday was the anniversary of a devastating fire that destroyed the hotel in 2001. “I was home from college when we got a call,” he wrote. “A very scary night, and I am so proud that my parents were able to figure out a way to recover and rebuild.”

The Mansion House pays a lot in sewer fees, records show. But it’s a lot less than the hotel would have paid had it been charged for the excess flow they were pumping to the treatment plant from their sump pumps.

Town records show the Mansion House paid $89,653 in sewer fees in 2019, an average of $22,413 per quarter. During the quarter of 2020 when the hotel was shut down, that amount dipped to $4,773 for 136,579 gallons of flow. Customers are billed on water usage, which is metered.

The flow from the Mansion House didn’t match the reduced activity at the hotel, which caught the eye of Thompson, and the illegal hookup was discovered.

With the estimated 15,000 gallons per day of groundwater being pumped from Mansion House, the hotel would have actually pumped 1.2 million gallons of additional flow to the plant over the 81-day period from April 9 to June 9, and the hotel’s bill should have been an additional $49,815 for that quarter.

The town has made no attempt to recoup any money from Mansion House, according to the records obtained by The Times.

Rogers told The Times Monday that eventually the town will seek restitution from the Goldsteins. “I understand that somehow that has to be addressed. That it’s not fair to the rest of our ratepayers,” Rogers said of the additional flow the Mansion House was pumping without paying the town. “I think we do need to work something out with Mansion House long-range, but I’m not looking to tax any businesses in Tisbury right now that are struggling because of the pandemic.”

Goldstein was asked if the hotel would make restitution, but didn’t respond directly.

The Tisbury plant operates close to its 104,000-gallon capacity, and on some days in the summer it surpasses that capacity. Meanwhile, town leaders are trying to free up space to add some businesses in the downtown area — Dunn’s Santander project, for example. In Wareham, where the sewer plant is nearing capacity and sewer commissioners have made commitments that go beyond that capacity, the town is threatening to fine people with illegal sump pumps connected up to $300 per day, according to a news website called Wareham Week.

While the Goldsteins have faced no repercussions from the town for pumping undetected and unpaid-for sewer flow for periods that may stretch back more than a decade, Thompson is out of a job.

Edgartown town administrator James Hagerty told The Times he was sorry to see Thompson leave Edgartown because it’s difficult to find a sewer plant operator with his credentials on the Island. “He left the town on good terms,” Hagerty said, noting that Thompson told him the Tisbury job was a better opportunity.

Thompson is a Tisbury resident, and said he was interested in the Tisbury job because the town is looking to come up with a comprehensive wastewater management plan (CWMP). He said he wanted to play a role in protecting Lake Tashmoo and Lagoon Pond, which both face nitrification issues — mostly from private septic systems.

He now works as a consultant for Oak Bluffs on its CWMP and wastewater treatment plant.

Asked about a rumor that’s been circulated that Thompson left Edgartown under a cloud of investigation, Hagerty poured cold water on that. Hagerty said there was an investigation into septage haulers dumping at the Edgartown plant a year prior to Thompson’s departure, but a police investigation and forensic audit found no validity to the accusation by one of the haulers that there was a discrepancy in how they were being charged. Hagerty said no one from Tisbury town government has asked him about that investigation.

“I had 16 years of exemplary reviews in Edgartown, and then I got to this place and I got one negative one, which they used as a pretext to dismiss me,” Thompson said. “I think I’m the same guy.”

Thompson has consulted an attorney, but is not pursuing legal action at this time because he’s been advised the best he can hope for is to get his job back — something he’s no longer interested in. “There are no damages, per se, that you can have that’s demonstrable,” he said the attorney told him.

Records show slow response

Most of the public records released by the town are emails between Josh Goldstein, Grande, and other Tisbury officials providing updates on the slow progress toward a solution.
In a May 20 email, Goldstein wrote that he had reached out to an engineer, Reid Silva, to install a new leaching field to accept the water. “One alternative is to get the sewer to accept the water until Reid is able to do the work,” Goldstein wrote. “But we (BOH, DPW, Sewer dept) all need to be on the same page.”

On May 27, Goldstein wrote that it would “take a month or so to get a plan and get the materials onsite and installed.” He also addressed the flooding caused by having the groundwater discharge into an older leaching field. “The current issue is more of a public relations … the discharge into [Five Corners] doesn’t look good,” Goldstein wrote. 

More than three months went by before Metell on Sept. 23 asked Goldstein for an update. Goldstein blamed a “massive backlog” at Vineyard Land Surveying for the delays. “I appreciate the town’s patience as we continue to move forward with this project,” he wrote.

Last week, Vineyard Land Surveying completed the installation of a new leaching field at Mansion House.

But while the work is completed, for Best, Loberg, and other sources who asked not to be named because they fear repercussions, there is a lingering stench about the Mansion House illegal hookup and Thompson’s firing.

Best and other sewer advisory board members tried to call a meeting of the committee, which prompted this response to them from Kristal: “I find that email really rude. A simple email to me asking for a meeting would have sufficed. I was waiting for today’s information that the Mansion House was back online to schedule a meeting, but you felt it necessary to go forward without talking with me. I am fine with that, but find it extremely rude.”

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 4 pm. Mansion House “project closeout” is on the agenda.

Loberg said her attempts to find a permit for the Mansion House hookup through the Tisbury board of health and DPW have been unsuccessful: “If somebody gave them permission, it’s verbal.”

Best said the entire ordeal reeks, and Mansion House should be held accountable by paying for the excess flow. “It should be required,” Best said. “It’s pretty scandalous when you look at it, but the selectmen just aren’t going to go there.”


  1. Well, well, well, this is a deep subject, anyone really surprised by the men behind the curtain? It’s beyond reasoning, and clearly time to clean house, mansion or otherwise, and replace the rotten leadership from top to bottom! Sinking boats, flooding sewers, and federal lawsuits galore! Tisbury has graduated from afterthought sideshow to a full blown circus of greed and malevolence! Time for some accountability!

    • I wonder who if anybody is going to pick up that ball and carry it.
      I did it back in the day (If you have been around that long to remember) but I have other things on my plate now!

  2. There has been no corruption at Mansion House. The headline next to a photo of the Inn is both misleading and upsetting. Former Selectwoman Melinda Loberg is not referring to Mansion House. It is clear that as soon as we were notified of the problem we took action to correct it. We have no involvement in the Town’s hiring and firing. Because of Covid it took awhile to fix but we never stopped working on it or communicating with the Town to keep them aware of our progress. The groundwater problem is solved and as always we continue to work cooperatively with the Town.

    • Really….when was that system put in? It wasn’t put in just right smack, oh gosh darn it, before covid arrived. Please, let’s travel back in time before the covid… like 2012 or so. Time to pay up.

    • So we are to believe Krystol was trying to cover this up and risk exposure and not get anything for his trouble? That doesn’t pass the smell test.

    • Your missing the point, it not ALL about the firing. It’s about the illegal hookup. Are you going to pay for the water Mansion House has been illegally flowing into the treatment plant? Let’s stay focused on the real issue here. Someone including you knew about this and hid it from the taxpayers.

  3. Like I said in a comment regarding the Mansion House report of the leaching system installation on 12/14/2020, I think these reports are overstating the impact of what has transpired. However, to learn that Mr. Thompson was fired when it appears the wastewater department was made aware of this issue, with a lack of full transparency by the government, I am perplexed and concerned.

    My 12/14/20 comments follow:

    With the pandemic effects on our local population numbers and a meaningful drop in the 2020 summer population, the wastewater plants on the island have been adversely impacted by the need for less concentrated effluent flow (more water and less concentrated waste) to help the plants “digest” the on-site septic system pump-outs, leading to the inability to service existing needs for on-going on site septic system maintenance. The plants now are significantly limiting daily septage inflow treatment, forcing waste haulers to go off-island. One sees daily in the SSA line seepage haulers trucking wastewater off island now at a huge expense. Given the need for clean water to the plant and the lack of a need for treatment of the kind of ground water that was being pumped into the Tisbury system, one could argue that the situation at the Mansion House was actually doing the Town a favor, given that the plant keeps track of its daily flow numbers at the plant and is nowhere near a critical peak flow concern. That water infiltrating the Mansion House was ground water, akin to well water, which needs no treatment, save for potentially thermal cooling. While however the connection occurred was wrong, that water was, in a way, a gift that helped overall operations in one critical respect. The plant needs a regular low concentration effluent flow to be able to “dissolve” seepage waste into the overall “waste” numbers to allow fr more local on-site pump outs to be treated. To the extent there was some level of knowledge at the plant of this anomalous flow, such an event should have been more transparent, but hardly takes on the level of conspiracy or effort to avoid fees that your paper suggests. The wastewater billing is based on water drawn from the water district which flows through the hotel’s piping picking up waste in need of treatment. The treatment needs are the basis of billing, so to suggest that clean water being introduced from ground water flow was avoiding a treatment fee is overstating the impact on the Town.

  4. This whole episode smells of corruption and favoritism. Why do the Goldstein have leverage over the town of Tisbury? This could be a bigger scandal

    • Have they paid all the money for all those months, for their waste water? This town could certainly use it!

    • The bigger scandal is not hard to find. Under the guise of investigative journalism, our local newspaper editor has decided to use a business as collateral damage during a fight with a town. There is no argument that Tisbury, like all small towns would benefit from greater transparency. But, business doing the best they can to stay open shouldn’t be news story. I’m part of the Goldstein family – daughter to Susan and Sherm. Perhaps my last name makes it more palatable for you? There is no hidden agenda here and no smoking gun. Just a business complying with all Town guidelines and orders. Happy to answer any specific questions you have.

      • Nothing like throwing your family name around….this isn’t about collateral damage to the mansion house, the collateral damage Ms. Morgan-Goldstein is the taxpayers who are suffering during a pandemic! Those involved in this conspiratorial venture did not do it for nothing, it’s called ‘ill gotten gains’! You protest far to loudly!

        • Mr. Johnson –
          I have no hyphen in my name. My surname is Morgan. I’m throwing no names around, simply grounding who I am in this discussion. I agree that all are suffering during this pandemic. Our business was shut down for months, and still not open to capacity. My argument with this article is how it seems to state that there was some kind of back room deal, or late night plumbing done in an effort to screw the town. Neither is true. Whatever happened at the Town level was done at Town Hall and not in our basement. What happened in our basement was done by professionals and when we were told something was wrong, or had failed, we moved to correct it. I am not passing judgement on any of the other names mentioned in this article – simply frustrated and angry at the nature of the reporter’s insinuating language.

      • Who made the illegal hookup at the Mansion House and when was it done? Why would anyone do it without informing the owners?

    • Does the quote “money talks” sound familiar!
      The Mansion House is a big ticket item in town. That in itself creates an influence that goes beyond words.

      Money doesn’t have to exchange hands, there don’t have to be favors paid out, just knowing you have or are the biggest kahuna on Main St. gives preferential treatment….

  5. What a tangled web we weave… My advice to all those involved. Come clean now, admit what you have done honestly and completely. Obfuscation, denial and blame casting will only drag this out. Everyone now knows what you have been doing. The truth will set you free ( and maybe cost you your jobs).

    • Yes, Mr. Goldstein was an elected member to the MVC from Tisbury. He did not win election in this most recent cycle. He was recently appointed to the MVC by the Tisbury Selectboard.

  6. How does Mr. Metell not notice this has been happening for a significant amount of time!?!? But a new employee (Mr. Thompson) notices right away and gets canned for wanting to report this to the DEP? I don’t know Mr. Metell, but it sounds like he might have turned a blind eye to this?

    Mr. Thompson, I’m very sorry that this has happened to you but I do believe you would be covered under the whistleblower laws. This sounds like a great case for the lawyers that have been rapidly filing suits against Tisbury & the Tisbury PD. You should reach out to the lawyers and teach the town a lesson… show them that they can’t keep treating their employees like this.

  7. I just hope somebody carries the ball and ties to “Drain the Swamp“ here.
    My priorities and concerns in life have changed entirely and I am through with our entire government from top to bottom!

  8. Wow, as a Tisbury taxpayer who knows how the political scene on the Vineyard works, I’ve never been more disappointed, and disgusted by any Board of Selectmen, or Sewer Advisory Board. I have spent over 35 years in the wastewater field and continue to do so today and this story is appalling.

    I have worked with and have known Dave Thompson for about 25 years. Dave is one of the most conscientiousness persons I have met when it comes to the environment, and the people he works for. (Taxpayers, not Politicians or appointees) Dave understands his duty and requirements as a fully licensed operator in the state.

    Local politicians think they know best, think they are all powerful, and perpetuate that feeling by feeding off each other. In fact, they know nothing about the water pollution control field, what its main objective is nor how to achieve it. It’s the old, butcher, banker, and candlestick maker thinking they know right from wrong, and how best to treat those who elect them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    I’ve followed this for some time, knowing there was more to the story than I was being told. Dave is a better man than me when it comes to discretion. Dave is required under his license to report anything illegal happening in the system he oversees. If his immediate supervisors are unwilling or unable to correct the situation then he moves up the ladder to DEP, the only true regulator. While elected officials think everyone works for them, Dave in fact works to help clean the environment and ensure sanitary services to the taxpayers of Tisbury.

    I know Dave will always hold his head up high, and he should. As for the elected officials involved in this situation, I never thought you could stoop and lower your head lower, but you have defied odds and found a way to do it.

    I don’t know Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein but would hope as a very successful business in Tisbury and one that is partially supported by the taxpayers of Tisbury who built, manage and operate the plant and infrastructure to support them that they would not have done this intentionally.

    As for needing this groundwater to help offset the strength of wastewater and septage entering the plant. All I will say is if only it was that simple. There are hydraulic issues, and biological balancing that dictates if it’s needed and it’s not.

    • I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I have also known John Best and Melina Loberg for as many if not more years than Dave. My comments were not directed at them as they too have been great stewards of the environment.

      I have served on many boards with them and they have always been consistently pro-environment, and good overseers of what’s best for the taxpayers. I hope others on the Sewer Advisory Board will follow their lead.

    • I find it funny Joe that you would jump into this pool as I can find interesting articles in this paper on you as well.

      • Bob, it’s all called Island Politics. Until you’ve lived you will never understand.

        As far as me jumping in, I hold my head high above the fringe of island politics and when I see something that needs to be commented on I do it.

  9. I worked with Dave Thompson for nearly eight years at the Edgartown Waste Water Treatment Facility, and for anyone to insinuate that he left under a cloud is pure prevarication. In my more than 50 years’ laboring at all manner of jobs, I have never worked for a more dedicated, honest and intelligent person, and it was a daily honor to be considered a member of his team. I wept the day Dave announced to the Edgartown crew his planned departure to Tisbury, and I wept once more this morning reading this soul-crushing story. I am so sorry, Dave.

  10. Dave Thompson is one of the bright lights in a world that sees more corruption and obfuscation than one might hope…..his integrity is unquestionable in my book…..he drove for my cab business long before he got into the wastewater business….. I trusted him then and I trust him now 100%……anybody that knows him knows that about him….. he also has a beautiful family…. who do these people think they are to defame and fire him? Hang in there Dave…..you have grounds for a lawsuit…..sad and disappointed in Tisbury and its leaders, both in politics and in business…..

  11. What’s up with the smarmy, hysterical, and out of context headline, MV Times? The “corruption” quote does not refer to the Mansion House or the Goldsteins at all, yet your subheading and use of the inn’s photo underneath implies that it does. The insinuation is purposely misleading, unethical, and a disgusting thing to do.

    • Well Jane, research shows that he was appointed by the Tisbury board of selectmen, after he was not elected by vote, to serve. The record shows all the Tisbury selectmen in favor of Goldstein being on the commission. Smells like something is rotten in Tisbury…

  12. Statue limitations go back 7 Years Bill back to seven years. There was no reason to extend probation he should have become permanent ask bill kingsbury Craig went to the state house to get six month probation for new employees considered expendable How did it burn down took two weeks ?
    The 6 month probation is to protect new employees from being fired just short of killing some one
    That pipe did not un hook it’s self and rehook itself on its own

  13. A question or two…Why does groundwater require a septic leaching field? Is the groundwater in the center of VH that badly polluted? If the groundwater in VH is not polluted, is there a reason that water could not simply have gone down the storm drains?

    • Vineyard Haven will forever be a backwards relic of the past.
      With it’s proximity to the Steamship Authority and the thousands passing through to go somewhere else, a very unfriendly please to try and start a business.

    • It is probably a matter of capacity. A storm drain is designed to handle a specific flow. If everyone let their private runoff into the storm drains, they would be over capacity and back up into the streets. This is the same problem with letting it into the town sewer. It doesn’t require any treatment, but it does take up some of the hydraulic capacity of the sewer system and the treatment plant. If everyone let their sump pumps and gutters run into town sewer, pumps and other systems would be overburdened and the system would fail.

  14. The article produces a chain of events and some readers immediately jump to a conclusion based upon deductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning considers no other evidence except the given premises and therein lies its limitations. If this case ends up in court one could easily prove that Thompson was fired due to behavior and lack of teamwork and not whistleblowing and is an employee at will . The assertion that Thompson was fired conveniently when no longer under the watchful eye of a Selectman is faulty. Yes the water was diverted but we don’t know who did it. Impugning the Goldstein’s without proof is unfair. All of these assertions from third parties some based upon rumor and innuendo will be shredded by a good attorney. This is not going to be a search for the truth but an adjudication and the process of ”discovery” will make everyone smell. Let Mansion House pay a negotiated fine and keep the town/business cooperation intact. Going after Kristal is unwise on many levels. Yes some technical rules were broken but pursuing this will be a nasty result for a lot of dedicated people.

    • The dedicated people are licensed the owners are responsible for the bill
      The overseeing by selectmen are responsible for coverups
      Are we talking about Ben hall jr sr or Ron rapaport
      Who will shred them

    • The only thing about to be shredded by attorney’s is the town and those involved in this enterprise of idiocy!

  15. 2 Million dollar lean by the Town of Tisbury against Mansion House, until they can prove they have not been illegally dumping groundwater into the wastewater system for 10 years. Thompson also deserves compensation. Compliance with all town laws, taxes etc, means you don’t hire someone to put in illegal hookups. Period. Tisbury deserves better leadership and the Mansion House, which was paid for partially by the tax payers, deserves honest and transparent management. This follows Josh’s appointment to the MVC, after he lost on November 6th. The entire story reeks.

  16. No mention of engineering
    No mention why foundation in ground water that’s deep no mention of the all in one plumber / builder !!
    The steam ship ground water is3 ft Through five corners the vet park beach road out to the bridge it’s pudding under five corners the paving holds well there really is no place to leach it just floods out sideways
    There should be more sand to leach through and could be pumped up tp higher ground
    are we contaminating ground water ?
    The town welded man hole covers five corners
    The state ordered them un welded in a rain storm I watched the man cover lift then a care broke its axel drove in flooded manhole they got re welded
    All water starts around cemetery heads to five corners
    Not sure where it exits
    May need to be re-examined
    It’s a felony to hook up to cable is it not ?

  17. In poker you can discard four cards and get four back you can throw in your whole hand request a shuffle and get a new hand. When people and layers get to comfortable they start benefiting them selves by becoming educated with the system use it to there advantage
    Maby tisbury needs a new
    Hand !! Including layers

  18. OMG, so sad to see such an article in our newspaper. Let’s all take a step back and put this matter into calm and proper perspective.

    First, I have the highest regard for our great MV Times, an outstanding community journal, but shame on the Times with a headline of “Corruption at the Highest Level”. That is only inflammatory and hurtful.

    I have 20 years public service in this Town. I know all the players. There is and there was no corruption.

    My dealings with David Thompson show confirm he was highly competent, responsive and very polite in his role. But Selectperson Jimmy Rogers put it best when he said
    his hands were tied talking about Thompson’s dismissal because it’s a personnel issue. Rogers said “I would never be vindictive against any town employee for telling us about something like this,”.

    Now folks, let’s all remember we have been living in a perilous pandemic. People and businesses are hurting. We should be proud of the Mansion House as a vital local business and how they, like our restaurants have struggled and sacrificed at great cost through these horrible times.

    Jeff Kristal and Josh Goldstein are two of the most dedicated public officials we in Tisbury have ever been blessed with. Let’s not impugn their reputation or John Best or Melinda Loberg or any of the many others mentioned in this unfortunate article. It is because of these folks Tisbury is still the best run Town on the Vineyard.

    Let he/she who has never erred cast the first stone.

    • It seems you put your reputation at risk Mr. Sawyer, take care who you choose to defend as stones are turned over.

    • Interesting you make no attempt to address any of the actual issues. There was clearly an attempt to keep this illegal sewer hookup from the public. Someone illegally hooked into the sewer line, who was it? It is also clear that the mansion house underpaid their sewer fees for a period of time that could be anywhere to $49,000 to possibly million depending on how long this was going on. For you to assert there is no corruption is ridiculous. This needs to be investigated to find out exactly who did what and when.

    • Sawyer your 20 years of public service in this Town should nothing to be proud about you had credibly problems back in the day if you happen to remember.

    • I suggest to Mr Sawyer that he volunteer on one or two of the Town of Tisbury’s boards for a year or two to get an idea as when to throw stones or not to throw stones.

  19. Disgraceful showing of favoritism, corruption, theft yes theft, and cover up as well as unlawful firing to further the cover up efforts. Disgusting! Time for NEW select an that care about the Island & ALL of its residents not just the “connected” one’s!

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