DiNardo: “Take The Property”–Mayor Wanted Site For Train Station — EPA Asking Questions

Tuesday update: That’s it. I’m done.

So says developer Sal DiNardo who told OIB Monday afternoon he had divested himself of interest several weeks ago in a company (RemGrit) that controls the former Remington Arms plant on Barnum Avenue where city fire personnel are trying to contain a blaze that began on Saturday.

DiNardo says RemGrit was placed into bankruptcy court several months ago after he was unable to reach agreement with city officials on a condemnation plan that would have included the city forgiving millions in back taxes he says he inherited when he gained control of the company.

“The city can take the property,” DiNardo said. “I no longer have an interest in it. They should have let me tear it down.”

DiNardo says over the past year he and attorney Chuck Willinger had several conversations with city officials about a plan to demolish and clear the site. DiNardo claims he had agreed to performance standards, in exchange for the city forgiving back taxes, that included $3 million of his own money to clear the site over approximately a two-year period, in addition to $100,000 a year to the city for 10 years, as part of a remediation agreement.

DiNardo says as far as he’s concerned the city can officially take the property at the next hearing of the bankruptcy court. It’s unclear what action, if any, the city can pursue against DiNardo (protected by a limited liability company) as a result of the latest fire that’s sapping fire personnel. One thing’s for sure, it’s a mess and a costly one to manage and clear. And the finger-pointing has started about responsibility for the site. Emergency demo crews are taking down two buildings on the site to aid fire personnel, but that represents a small portion of the complex.

Officials of the Environmental Protection Agency are in a cranky mood over this and they’re asking lots of questions about responsibility.

DiNardo says he doesn’t understand why Mayor Bill Finch did not approve a deal with him to clear the site. City officials close to the negotiations say they thought they had a deal to present to the bankruptcy judge to approve a plan that included the site as a second train station for the city, something the mayor wanted as part of the deal. One of the sticking points, however, involved the timeframe involved in turning the project around. What happens if DiNardo fails to meet the timeline specified in the performance outline?

When the city reviewed the paperwork submitted by DiNardo’s lawyer the terms of agreement did not match up with the city, and an agreement was not reached on the performance standard.

DiNardo had been a supporter of Finch for many years, someone the mayor counted on for campaign support. Sal is the brother of Democratic State Party Chair Nancy DiNardo. It appears Finch wanted to create some distance from DiNardo, for voter-relations value, who had contributed thousands of dollars to him in Finch’s various runs for public office.

(Full disclosure: in the spring of 2008 DiNardo hired me to write and produce a radio and television campaign that included promotion of city destination points sponsored by his company Peter DiNardo Enterprises, and his remediation of a portion of the former Bridgeport Brass site now occupied by United Rentals. My radio and television work on behalf of DiNardo started and ended with those projects in 2008.)



  1. Yeah take it back now; Bullshit. DiNardo got involved in this property knowing full well what was involved. Now he wants to walk away. I think the city should bill him for the cost of the fires in these unsecured properties. I don’t know who is paying for the demolition that is going on now if it’s the city then send the bill to DiNardo.
    This is one time the city should hire outside attorneys and get this matter settled once and for all.
    DiNardo says it was going to cost $3 million over 2 years to take this site down my question is where did Curwen come up with a figure of 11 million dollars for demolition?
    Sounds like blackmail to me forgive the taxes and I will spend $3 million to tear this site down.
    Damn it spend the $3 million tear it down before we lose more firefighters.

    1. Local Eyes thinks Sal DiNardo is the beneficiary of OIB’s look-the-other-way treatment. While kinder scribes have called him a “gentleman farmer,” Local Eyes thinks gentleman HARMER is still too kind a term.

      1. In either case its a lot less than the $11 million Curwen quoted. BTW what are the pollutants everyone is talking about and are they on the entire site?

  2. Interesting Lennie.
    You give good press to Uncle Sal today and voila, he gives you good quotes.
    I’m with TC.
    Go after Sal with everything we’ve got.
    Maybe to Attorney General Dick Blumenthal for some help here.
    See Dick run.
    See Sal’s sister Nancy hide.
    Let’s make it part of the political landscape in an election year.
    Paints a pretty picture.

  3. As to Rem Grit and a second train station as well as the promotional video, I am reminded of a quote from former Mayor John Mandanici.
    “A little powder and a little paint
    Makes a lady what she ain’t”
    Or his advise to many a young politician that might be quite apropos to Mayor Finch right about now:
    Don’t get your tit caught in the wringer.

  4. Mayor Finch did a interview with WICC’s Jim Buchanan this afternoon about former Remington Arms plant, demolition and bankruptcy but he refused to criticize Sal DiNardo about anything.

  5. Bullshit, Sal!

    “… It is important to understand that limited liability does not imply that owners are always fully protected from personal liabilities. Courts can and will pierce the corporate veil of corporations (or LLCs) when some type of fraud or misrepresentation is involved, or when the owner uses the company as an ‘alter ego.'[1] …”

    It all depends on who the judge is handling the case between the City of Bridgeport and DiNardo. Let’s see if Finch pushes the issue as he should; there appears to be some foot-dragging on this matter by the City. Lennie again falls short in pressing DiNardo with some follow-up questions; he simply took a bullshit comment.


  6. “… Unlike state laws regarding stock corporations, which are very well developed and provide for a variety of governance and protective provisions for the corporation and its shareholders, most states do not dictate the governance and protective provisions for the members of a limited liability company. Thus, in the absence of such statutory provisions, the members of an LLC can only establish governance and protective provisions pursuant to contract, in the form of an operating agreement.”

    Sal DiNardo is protected by his sister Democratic State Party Chair Nancy DiNardo. Does anyone think Nancy will allow the Democratic controlled House and Senate–Dick Blumenthal and Dodd too–to even consider introducing legislation that would dictate the governance and protective provisions for the members of a limited liability company? Why doesn’t Bill Finch call on our two State Senators to act on this? Oh, yeah–forgot about Nancy!

  7. Lennie, among the follow-up questions you could have asked Sal DiNardo are:
    How much insurance did he collect due to damages–fire or vandalism?
    Which tax structure did he and his partners choose?

    Income taxation

    For U.S. Federal income tax purposes, LLCs are treated by default as a pass-through entity.[2] If there is only one member in the company, it is treated as a “disregarded entity” for tax purposes, and the owner reports the LLC’s income on his or her own tax return on Schedule C. For LLCs with multiple members, the LLC is treated as a partnership and must file the IRS Form 1065. Individual partners would receive a K-1 for their share of income or losses to be reported on that owner’s tax return.

    As an option, LLCs may also elect to be taxed like a corporation by filing IRS Form 8832.[3] They can be treated as a regular C corporation (taxation of the entity’s income prior to any dividends or distributions to the members and then taxation of the dividends or distributions once received as income by the members), or an LLC can elect to be treated as an S-corporation. Some commentators have recommended an LLC taxed as an S-corporation as the best possible small business structure. It combines the simplicity and flexibility of an LLC with the tax benefits of an S-corporation (self-employment tax savings).[4]

  8. Ocean Spray had made a bid on this property until it got “bogged” down with Sal’s Cranberry Suit in Greenfield Hill.

    They were contemplating a new flavor in Sal’s honor called Crane-Apple. They decided to bite the bullet on this gritty grappa.

  9. Okay one good thing is the smoke from the fire did not contain any asbestos contaminants. My question is and has been JUST WHAT POLLUTANTS ARE ON THE SITE? Does anyone have a list?
    I have another question why is it that every time a factory or commercial building is demolished the property gets labeled a brownfield? Are tests done on these properties that tell the city what pollutants are on the property. Answer NO.
    Mayor Finch you are right as long as the FD is on site you have control but to check further after they leave or just before they leave have the FM get an administrative warrant it may buy a few days.
    Mayor praying for Hurricane Earl to hit the site is bullshit. You should be hurricane Earl and hit this property with all the legal tools at your disposal. While I am at it tell Nancy DiNardo to stay in Trumbull and continue screwing this state up with the rest of the Democratic power structure in Hartford.

    1. “My question is and has been JUST WHAT POLLUTANTS ARE ON THE SITE? Does anyone have a list?”

      Yes, your councilmen Robert Curwen. On Saturday, he mentioned to the Post there was large amounts of sawdust and oil pans under the machines. So he had knowledge of what’s in the building and obviously left some out when he spoke to the CT Post. If he left out the fact he was the Property Manager for three years, what else could he have kept to himself?

  10. City’s New Marketing Video, What Do Ya Think?

    Maybe Lennie could run a Bridgeport trivia contest on all the attractions and their names in the video.

  11. “town committee,” you said,”Okay one good thing is the smoke from the fire did not contain any asbestos contaminants. My question is and has been JUST WHAT POLLUTANTS ARE ON THE SITE? Does anyone have a list?” Andy, great point, there are firefighters at that site 24/7 breathing in whatever pollutants that are there and no one knows how dangerous it can be for their health.

  12. Ron as you know no one cares about the firefighters until they make the ultimate sacrifice. Then you get a couple of weeks of political rhetoric and it’s back to normal, normal being let’s see where we can cut in the Fire Department.
    Ron as you and I and many other retirees know you sometimes don’t pay for what you were exposed to over a career in firefighting until years later.
    It is certainly incumbent on the city to know what contaminants are on this site so the fire fighters and other first responders can protect themselves.
    I am so tired of developers crying about investments they made. I am so tired of politicians kissing their collective asses.
    Like my long-gone dad used to say Money Talks and Bullshit Walks. God knows we have too much bullshit and not enough money.

  13. We have been discussing the Remington Arms plant for over a year now, showing images and having historian on.

    I have spoken with business owners in the area and they have not been pleased with what has been going on.

    Could this be a catalyst for change regarding owners of other blighted property in the city? Certainly the status of the building does not help to have a secure neighborhood.

    Speaking of security, some say we have a public safety crisis in Bridgeport, what with homicides rising. They are sick and tired of it and want to do something about it once and for all.

    Their solution: surveillance cameras. Yes, and guess what, they already did an estimate with government officials. Today at 8:30pm a special guest appears, who has been published in the CT Post.

    We look into the feasibility of putting surveillance cameras in the city. Would we have known who started fires in some of these buildings? Will crime reduce? What about privacy rights issues?

    But first, at 8pm we have a Bridgeport City Council person on the program to discuss transparency issues regarding budget transfers, as well as addressing other issues. Oh, also we will try to explain the Hot Dog Scandal!

    “Bridgeport Now” Live today, Tue on Ch88 Cablevision, Ch90 AT&T and on soundviewtv.org.

    1. What’s this with Bridgeport Now also becoming an echo of the CT Post? “…Today at 8:30pm a special guest appears, who has been published in the CT Post …” Cameras, along with protective glass, didn’t stop or deter the Maplewood Avenue store clerk killers. Get your gloves, hoodies, and skimasks ready.

  14. Tonight we get to hear President Obama tell us how great things turned out in Iraq and how we must now focus our attention on Afghanistan.
    I support our troops 150% however it is time to get out of both countries.
    This war affects 1% of the population, that 1% represents the military and their families. The rest of America is basically on the sidelines.
    It is time to reinstitute the draft. It is time all Americans feel the pain of war. We are sending our young people back to these wars 4, 5 and 6 times. At least in Vietnam you did your 13 months and were done, of course there were exceptions and some lifers did more than 1 tour.
    Because the military is now so small we are using those now in the military until they can’t mentally serve anymore.
    Instituting the draft with NO deferments will make those in power think twice before they take our kids into war. Right now it’s somebody else’s kid going to war.
    You just can’t keep sending the same troops back to war a number of times and expect them to return whole. Surviving one tour of duty is hell can you imagine 4 or 5 tours of duty in a war zone?
    I am not blaming Obama or Bush alone I am blaming all the damned politicians in Washington for this mess. Who thinks we would be at war if the politician’s kids had to serve?

  15. Lennie, Sal filed for bankruptcy. Did he file under chapter 7 or 13? Do we have an OIB reader with expertise in bankruptcy who could help us “Pry Open” this clam of DiNardo? Heck, I’ll give it a try!
    If the LLC fails go with bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) could apply here assuming Connecticut has adopted the 2005 legislation. I say “assuming” because I don’t know if it did. Congress allowed states to opt out of the federal law. Knowing the method of operation of Nancy DiNardo and the power she wields in Hartford, I doubt any Democrat would vote for the adoption of the law. This law is interesting and of importance in this matter. Remember my question as to what chapter Sal Dinardo filed for bankruptcy (7 or 13)? Well if Connecticut did adopt B.A.P.C.P.A, the bankruptcy judge will chose which chapter Sal DiNardo would be allowed to file under.
    Kudos to Bill Finch for passing on DiNardo’s offer. Finch has enough problems to deal with to be associated with the Attorney a.k.a. the unindicted co-conspirator and DiNardo. Filing for bankruptcy can lower their (DiNardo and RemGrit) tax liability and get Finch off the hook by saying, “That’s what the court told them to pay.” Wait a minute! In 2005 Finch was a State Senator. Lennie, call his office and find out if the State of Connecticut adopted B.A.P.C.P.A. When you don’t get a response, check with the Connecticut Legislature. Did anyone even try to adopt it? Does the Attorney General’s office have the power to adopt it? I’ll give you ’til the weekend to “Pry Open” this clam. If you don’t, there wouldn’t any more reason for me to blog here.

  16. This site most likely has VOCs, lead from ammunition, oil waste, creosote, heavy metals, asbestos in shingles (roofing materials), lead from paint that became airborne during fire so yes it is contaminated. Also Sal had many things buried at the Brass site, an electric transformer was discovered buried on site during building of United Rental which contained PCBs. Sal leaves nothing clean if he can bury it on site and save money. He sponsors St. V’s swim across the sound events for cancer and buries cancer-producing agents.


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