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Scott sued over nonpayment of rent; calls landlord “slumlord”

November 1, 2018

Groton — The owner of the building at 15 Thames St. is suing its now-defunct former tenant Bailey Agencies, whose principal, John Scott, is calling his landlord a “slumlord.”

Scott is running against incumbent Democratic Rep. Christine Conley for the 40th District House seat but, despite the timing of the lawsuit, he said it’s “not related to my campaign. This has been an ongoing negotiation for months. This is really a private business matter, nothing to do with politics.”

The property owner, Nineteen Thames Street Partnership, filed a complaint in Superior Court on Oct. 5. Multiple people are involved in the partnership, but Scott said he dealt primarily with Lawrence Chesler, whose name is signed on the lease as the landlord.

The complaint alleges that Bailey Agencies breached the 10-year lease agreement signed on March 1, 2012, by not paying rent, or “certain utilities and common use charges,” for April 2018 or any month thereafter.

The amount in demand in the complaint is greater than 3,441.21 for the first five years, and then 24,888.84 owed in taxes on 15 Thames St.

She said Nineteen Thames Street Partnership has set up a payment plan of $7,000 until it is current on its taxes, and that no further action will be taken against the property so long as the taxpayer remains in compliance with the agreement.

The Glastonbury-based Smith Brothers Insurance LLC announced in a news release on April 6 of this year that it purchased the assets of Bailey Agencies Insurance, which was founded in 1890. Scott now works from his home in Mystic.

Scott said that he and his landlord “didn’t come to terms for the exit when I sold my business,” and that the rent has not been paid since that time. He added that they’ve “been actively trying to negotiate a settlement.”

The return date listed on the case is Nov. 6. Michael Bonnano, the attorney representing Nineteen Thames Street Partnership, noted that return dates are required to be on Tuesdays in Connecticut.

Through Bonnano, the members of Nineteen Thames Street Partnership declined to comment or to respond to Scott’s allegations. Bonnano said their position is that the suit speaks for itself and he stressed that it is not politically motivated.

e.moser@theday.com