You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Governor’s former chief of staff faces fine over unregistered construction company

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 9/3/2021 Edward Fitzpatrick
a castle on top of a building: The Rhode Island State House. © Edward Fitzpatrick The Rhode Island State House.

PROVIDENCE — Anthony J. Silva, former chief of staff for Governor Daniel J. McKee, has had better weeks.

The week began with McKee announcing that Silva was stepping down from his $196,792-a-year State House job amid an investigation into a controversial wetlands development in Cumberland.

The week ended with the state Department of Business Regulation announcing that it plans to fine Silva $1,000 for building a home on land in Cumberland without the required contractor registration.

In a citation written Friday, an investigator with the Contractors’ License & Registration Board said that property records show Silva bought an undeveloped piece of land at 116 Canning St. in April 2018.

“(Silva), doing business as My Hero Construction, then erected a residential structure on the property,” the citation said. “Said property was sold on or about March of 2019. During the time of construction, neither (Silva) nor My Hero Construction held the required contractor registration.”

In the notification, principal investigator Matthew J. Lambert told Silva that he had violated the law by performing work, or arranging to perform work, without a valid registration, and the proposed fine is $1,000.

Silva as the right to a hearing, and he must request one in writing within 20 days, the notice said. If he does not act, the fine will be assessed on Sept. 23.

WPRI-TV12 had reported that Silva listed an unregistered construction company on a document related to a home he built in 2018 and sold the next year, despite previously saying the company was never operational. WPRI reported that documents at Cumberland Town Hall show Silva listed My Hero Construction as the company that built a single-family home at 116 Canning St. The notation was on a US Department of Housing and Urban Development disclosure form that Silva signed in February 2019.

Silva, a former Cumberland police chief, is facing an investigation over another piece of land on Canning Street.

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha’s office and the Rhode Island State Police are probing whether Silva attempted to influence the state Department of Environmental Management over a permit to develop a piece of land at 45 Canning St. that is 93 percent wetlands.

DEM had rejected an application put forward on Silva’s behalf to develop the Canning Street parcel in 2019, but the agency reversed course this year despite local opposition. Silva denied trying to influence DEM and claimed he transferred his interest in the property to his son to build a house. After the proposal drew media attention and litigation, the Silva family announced Aug. 13 that it would transfer the lot to the town.

At first, McKee said he had spoken to the DEM director and concluded that Silva had not tried to exert “undue influence” over the wetlands development proposal. But he soon called for the attorney general’s office to do an investigate. And on Monday, McKee announced that he and Silva reached a “mutual agreement” that it was in the “best interest of the administration” for him to retire from state government effective immediately.

Meanwhile, the Rhode Island Republican Party has filed a complaint with the state Ethics Commission, claiming Silva violated the ethics code by failing to disclose his financial interest in the 45 Canning St. lot from 2017 through 2020.


More from The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon