REHOBOTH, Mass. —
The Massachusetts inspector general released a 13-page report Friday alleging the chairman of the Rehoboth Board of Selectman lied and used his mother to buy into affordable housing at hundreds of thousands of dollars below market value.
How did he get such a good deal? Costello’s then 71-year-old mother was the co-buyer.
The pair also met an over-55 requirement and income restrictions because Marie Costello had little money. The Costellos won an affordable housing lottery for one of 17 homes was set aside in the development for low-income elderly.
“The plan was for her to go over to 11 Judith Ann Circle three times a week, usually from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in order to make it look like she was living there,” Sullivan wrote in the report. “Marie Costello indicated that she would clean and do the laundry while there, but never spend the night.”
Michael Costello said his mother did live in the house.
“Yes, she did. For approximately seven months she lived there,” Costello said.
Costello said his mother’s health failed and that she moved into affordable housing in Attleboro. He said investigators threatened her.
“The inspector stated to my mother, and this is a quote, the inspector said to my mother, ‘If you don’t tell me what I need to know I will have you removed from this housing that you are in right now,'” Costello said.
Costello said he did not obtain the house fraudulently and that he did not lie on any documents to get the home.
“I did not lie on any documents,” Costello said.
One of the town’s selectmen is already asking for Costello’s resignation.
Costello said he’ll fight in court if need be.