Ware businessman sues police chief, town officials

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Staff Writer
Published: 10/4/2019 11:23:13 AM
Modified: 10/4/2019 11:23:01 AM

NORTHAMPTON — A Ware businessman is suing the town’s chief of police, two police officers and the building inspector in Hampshire Superior Court over allegations that the public officials conspired to abuse their power in order to defame him and interfere with his businesses.

In a seven-count civil lawsuit, Gary Buelow, along with three of his businesses, has sued Ware Police Chief Shawn Crevier, Sgt. Christopher DeSantis, Officer Ryan Downing and town Building Inspector Anna Marques. The four defendants are being sued in both their official capacity and as individuals. 

Buelow’s three businesses, which are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, include Maple Street Power, LLC, a “freight and trucking terminal,” 118 Main Street Ware, LLC and All Parts Racing, LLC, a towing service. 

Reached by phone on Thursday, Crevier and Ware Town Manager Stuart Beckley declined to comment. DeSantis, Downing and Marques did not respond for comment. Neither Buelow nor his attorneys returned calls on Thursday.

The lawsuit alleges that since September 2016, “various officials” have been trying to disparage Buelow and put him out of business in an attempt to have Buelow pay unpaid taxes he subsumed from a land purchase on Maple Street in 2012. 

In May 2018, the lawsuit alleges that Marques, despite knowing that All Parts Racing did not own property on Maple Street, submitted four letters to the town Planning Board claiming the tow company was illegally using the Maple Street property to store its vehicles. In September of that same year, the town Board of Selectmen essentially instructed Marques to begin fining All Parts Racing for the vehicles stored on the Maple Street Property. 

Though Marques did prepare four notices issued to Buelow in October 2018, the lawsuit alleges they were never mailed, despite indications on the violation itself that the complaints were mailed. The violations were eventually hand-delivered to Buelow in December at the instruction of Crevier. According to the lawsuit, Buelow originally had 21 days within the date of the notice to appeal the violation, but he did not receive it in time; Buelow filed an appeal in Eastern Hampshire District Court days after receiving the notice in December.

After months of waiting, the lawsuit alleges that Marques never sent original copies of the complaint to the court, delaying any court proceedings. At the end of September 2019, Marques allegedly informed Buelow she would issue more violation notices.

The lawsuit cites another incident in June 2018, when DeSantis responded to 118 Main where Buelow, his spouse and his stepfather were present. DeSantis witnessed what appeared to be a physical altercation between two males and made no arrests. According to the lawsuit, a month later, DeSantis filed a criminal complaint against Buelow in connection with the incident; in February 2019 all charges against Buelow were dismissed. 

The lawsuit alleges that beginning in late summer of 2018, Crevier, DeSantis and other Ware police officers began tailing Buelow, surveilling his businesses, and threatening to remove All Parts Racing from the department’s tow list without justification. His company was allegedly removed from the tow list in February 2019.

Over the next nine months, Buelow was cited once by Downing and summonsed to court once and issued a criminal complaint by Crevier — Downing’s citation and Crevier’s summons allegedly happened without Buelow being present. Crevier allegedly also accused Buelow of misusing repair plates on All Parts Racing vehicles, seizing two of them.

Buelow is being represented by Robert S. White and Dale R. Kiley of BourgeoisWhite, LLP in Worcester and is seeking a trial by jury. 

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 


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