December 19, 2014
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Cote, Councilwoman Vella-Wilkinson in legal battle

Rob Cote, the leader of the Car Tax Revolt, is suing Ward 3 Councilwoman Camille Vella-Wilkinson for slander and libel over a letter published Aug. 16 in the Warwick Beacon claiming that “an aggressive driver displaying a Car Tax Rally sign in the back of his open truck badgered and tailgated my son as he was driving home from work.” The letter also claimed that she received insulting e-mails disclosing personal information about her colleagues as well as crank calls.

Vella-Wilkinson said that while she is countersuing him, she did not disclose the details. Her lawyer, Alberto Aponte Cardona, was contacted but did not return a call in time for press.

“I think that she’s damaged me,” said Cote in an interview Friday. “I’m building my reputation in the community, and how do I know that what she said couldn’t injure my work, lifestyle and so forth? You can’t make claims like that in an effort to strong-arm people or fear them into not speaking against the government. That’s what this was all about.”

The lawsuit was filed against Vella-Wilkinson on Sept. 5. He and his lawyer, whose name he did not want to reveal, compiled a list of demands, which Cote said were not met by Vella-Wilkinson and Aponte Cardona. Because they failed to comply with his demands, they were scheduled to meet Cote and his attorney in court yesterday morning on a motion to compel Vella-Wilkinson to provide him the information in a timely fashion.

Further, Cote is asking to be awarded $750, as he isn’t pleased he has to take a day out of work for court. He also requests that Aponte Cardona be sanctioned for his lack of response.

Moreover, Cote said he believes she “maliciously” circulated e-mails and wrote the letter to the editor because she was upset that he advertised the Car Tax Revolt, a 280-member group that vetoed “unethical” valuations to vehicles, which he spearheaded in July.

“I have the constitutional right to take a stand against the government, which I did,” Cote said. “Because of that, I was targeted. People are afraid to be outspoken because they are afraid of a reprisal, and this is an example why. I’m not going to back down.”

He feels Vella-Wilkinson’s attempts to harm his reputation were “underhanded” and “despicable.”

“The burden is on her to prove her claims are factual,” said Cote. “I can prove they aren’t.”


Comments
5 comments on this item

$750 for a day out of work that he caused. What a joke? SHe didn't harm his reputation. It was harmed a long time ago and continues to go downward.

Cote does have the constitutional right to stand against the government. Freedom of speech, go for it. But I'm pretty sure it doesn't say in the constitution stalk thy son, harass thy phones, or threaten ones security? That sounds pretty "malicious" to me. If you want to build a "reputation" in our community do it the right way, help people understand your point of view. Educate yourself the most you can on both sides of and issue and impress people with what you can offer to help to recieve your backing. Harrasing the other side to try to weaken them isn't going to work Cote.

Cote and his reputation is a joke. Ask the people that know the real Cote. Always getting caught and looking for a fight. He has more dirt on him than a pig in a sty pen.

First of all, Cote did not belong at the Warwick City Council complaining. He should have gone to the State House. They are the people that set the rate. He was passing out the wrong information. Then to harras the other side is so childish;great way to build a reputation ! I am a resident of Ward 3. Tell me what Council person goes out to the neigborhoods during a storm to see if anyone needs ice or help. I have lived in my house for 25yrs , and no Council person has ever done this. She is a good person.This is how you get a good reputation. It's called being a good person. So wake up Cote .

These comments, again, solidify my position. It is clear by the above comments that the writers actually believe that I harrassed this persons son. This is just more proof for the litigation. Lostatsea, you should just stay "lost at sea". Stevie D, keep hiding behind your keyboard, with your level of technical writing, youwillnever earn $750/day. It is very funny how youbashers hide behind ficticious names and never go in public. jUst keep bashing, help me make my case.

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