Open Letter to Robert Rubbo Director of Health, and the City of Torrington

A group headed by you Robert Rubbo, MPH, Director of Health, Torrington, CT and several as yet unknown city officials made false statements, threats and by their uniformed presence intimidated tenants into allowing you entrance into their home on August 11, 2015. Your purpose was to find evidence of hazardous materials on the property to be used for my arrest.

Undeterred by not finding hazardous quantities of lead or any other hazardous materials, and continuing the conspiracy and fraud; armed only with unsubstantiated claims of finding minute and non-hazardous quantities of lead, I was threatened with fines and arrest in an ORDER which I received August 20, 2015.

The second paragraph of the ORDER cites Connecticut State Statutes Section 119a-111 et seq. then quotes a part of 119a-111c (a) omitting from the ORDER the “interim controls” that will help a child who has high lead content in her blood. The following quote from Connecticut law was NOT quoted in the ORDER. “For the purposes of this section, “remediation” means the use of interim controls, including, but not limited to, paint stabilization, spot point repair, dust control, specialized cleaning and covering of soil with mulch.” The ORDER and the threats it contained certainly did not include the possibility of “interim controls” It seems your point is not to help a little girl but rather scare me by misleading me with lies. The question is: “Why?” Do you have investments or friends in a lead abatement company? Are you a school-yard bully?

In previous correspondence I have asked you if you consider the law and the “use of interim controls” sufficient for lead abatement. You do not answer. I could either follow the law or your ORDER to “Adequately abate … ALL DEFECTIVE … MATERIAL … as more specifically described in the attached document” (CAPS are quoted as written in the ORDER”.)

There was no attached document. An unsigned, undated document followed accompanied by a letter dated August 31, 2015, listing areas of the apartment as “defective” making the clear implication that you do not expect interim controls as called for by Connecticut law. So the question remains if you expect me to follow the law or to follow your ORDER of August 18, 2015. Those are very different things.

By telephone you told me that you were required by law to send the threatening ORDER and you referred me to 119a-111-2 Applicability of regulations quoted in the ORDER sections (a), (b), (c) and (d) (both times omitting the very important section (e) which I quote below). This is the same passage you sent to me in a 16 page Xerox highlighted in purple with a very short letter dated September 2, 2015. There is nothing in this passage which directs the Department of Health or any other person to do anything.

Prominently mentioned in your ORDER are “toxic levels of lead”. So please direct me to the law which specifically states what levels of lead found on “exterior surfaces”, “common areas”, “interior dust”, “drinking water” and “exterior soil” are toxic levels of lead. In the law I found Section 119a-111-4 (j) “Risk Assessment-For the purpose of assessing the level of risk from lead dust, a lead dust hazard is present when the concentration of lead in dust is equal to or exceeds the following. (A) floors – 40 mg/sq. ft. (micrograms per square foot); (B) window sills – 250 mg/sq. ft. Obviously these are not measurements that you used. In your undated, unsigned testing from my property you state, for example, that the Living Room “Front Door jamb = 1.0 (defective)”. We need to know how many mg/sq. ft is your reading of 1.0.

Also please explain why drinking water and dust were not tested, or if they were tested, why those tests were not included in the unsigned report of testing you sent me. I have previously asked you to tell me about any testing done NOT included in the reports, such as toys, utensils, clothing, especially shoes, soil, and who besides you can verify the testing. You do not answer.

Your ORDER continues “Pursuant to Section 19a-111-3 (f) … authority is vested in the local code enforcement agency…” This is most curious since Section 19a-111-3 (f) is titled “Post Abatement Inspection” and mentions nothing about enforcement of any kind. So please let me know by what authority you wrote this ORDER against me of August 18, 2015 because it is NOT 19a-111-3 (f) as you claim.

You ORDER me to “Eliminate LEAD DUST HAZARDS” although you do not refer to any lead dust hazards in any communication. Then you say to “Adequately manage... as more specifically described in the attached document”. I have notified you before that no such document has been found. Then “FURTHER, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, that” and you quote from 119a-111-2. Again your ORDER is misleading because you leave out a good portion of that section of law, the section (e).

You quote heavily from 19a-111-2 (and sent a purple highlighted copy) but omitted section (e) which begins “Intact surfaces … are not required to be abated by these regulations. However when a child resides in the dwelling the owner shall have a lead management plan…” It seems to me this is the only workable part of the law and should have been prominently mentioned in your ORDER of August 18, 2015. Or better you could have told me about it, or given me a pamphlet. Having a lead abatement plan within 60 days of finding hazardous lead on any property seems a reasonable request for a health department. I wonder why such was not included in your ORDER but is clearly stated in the laws you reference by Section and number but do not quote. There are also pamphlets available from the Connecticut Health Department to explain the law. Apparently you need those pamphlets to educate yourself about the law.

Your ORDER then cites 19a-111-4 and 5 “of the regulations” as if such sections of law support your ORDER that “A written lead abatement plan prepared by a Lead Professional must be submitted to the Director of Health within 15 working days of the receipt of the completed lead report.” I know of no such report nor any law that would require anyone to make such a plan in 15 working days. This is clear over- reach of authority and you have never shown that you have authority under Connecticut law. Clearly the law does NOT say such a thing, but you do. The question remains where you derive your authority since you do not cite law to support your authority. And why on earth you are doing this to me. Your ORDER of August 18 is a travesty and an embarrassment to any who believe in the laws of Connecticut.

Headed in bold caps, fourth paragraph after “YOU ARE THEREFORE, HEREBY ORDERED” is this: “TORRINGTON AREA HEALTH DISTRICT LEAD POSIONING PREVENTION REGULATIONS Section 4-2 Lead abatement and Lead management plans allow the Director of Health to order the owner to engage the services of a Lead Professional to design a lead abatement plan and/or management plan in accordance with the requirements of the RCSA Lead Poisoning and Prevention Control Regulations_ The lead abatement and management plans must be submitted to the Director of Health within the timetables specified in this order.” I can find no such Regulations. The often quoted section of applicable law with the closest numbering system to “Section 4-2” is 19a-111-4 (2) Containment – The abatement area shall be properly contained… Obviously this is not the Section 4-2 to which the ORDER of August 18, 2015 refers. So please refer me to the Torrington Area Health District Lead Poisoning Prevention Regulations Section 4-2 that your ORDER refers to.

Your clearly defective ORDER of August 18, 2015 against me, under threat of arrest and fine, gives me no recourse under the law except appeal. If you believe I could have handled the situation differently please tell me how one handles a bully like you. Perhaps you expect me to call you and beg you to please change the ORDER of August 18, 2015 into something that can be performed so that I can keep you happy and avoid fines and jail time. It certainly seems like this is your purpose in writing the ORDER. The other possibility is you have friends or investments in some local lead abatement firm.

I am not a lawyer but I am familiar with the Federal Courts and the laws. If I can find no other way to stop your actions against my neighbors I will try to find other recourse to stop your future actions and the actions of those present with you when you bullied your way into my tenants’ home. Perhaps the City of Torrington which is responsible for your actions will have comment. I believe you willfully deprived me of my rights and conspired to deprive me of my rights with those present when you committed fraud and threatened these good people if they did not allow entrance. Then you tested for lead that you did not find, fraudulently reported minuscule and unverified findings, and proceeded to write the ORDER referred to above.

Unlike a lawyer nothing you or anyone else says to me is confidential in any way and I will not hide from you my purpose. I will announce to you all my actions. I think it is only right that a person such as you is sufficiently punished publically for such egregious acts against me and my Torrington area neighbors. Torrington City Policy should change thusly:

City Authorities should not attempt to enter homes under threat and/or with police escort unless armed with a Warrant.

Verbal and written representations of law by City officials should be accurate and complete.

Orders should name specific violations of law if they exists, and should name specific reasons under the law for writing the Order. If a danger to the community exists an Order should clearly state a danger and a remedy under the law.

All testing should name the equipment used, who used it, who verified the readings, date and time used, subject to perjury laws.

I will be forwarding this letter to others including the Department of Public Health, Public Health Hearing Office, 410 Capitol Avenue MS 13 PHO P.O. Box 340308 Hartford, CT 06134-0308, The Torrington Mayor, and the Register Citizen.
Sincerely, Kent Johnson
233 East Main Street
Torrington, CT 06790

About Kent

Professional writer and aspiring publisher.
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