August 3, 2006

Another Suspicious Lead Paint Relationship is Revealed

Carroll Andrew Morse

Michelle Smith of the Associated Press (via is reporting on yet another suspicious insider relationship related to DuPont's release from liability in the Rhode Island lead paint case...

When the state dropped DuPont Co. from its sweeping lawsuit against former makers of lead paint last year, one of the terms was that DuPont would donate $9 million to the Children's Health Forum for clean-up and education efforts in Rhode Island.

Attorney General Patrick Lynch at the time described the group as a national nonprofit organization focused on preventing childhood exposure to lead.

What no one mentioned were the extensive ties between DuPont and Washington-based Children's Health Forum: It was founded by a lawyer hired by DuPont to work on lead poisoning issues; it received most of its funding from the Wilmington, Del.-based company and most of its board members have ties to DuPont.

Government watchdogs say the relationship between the two, not previously reported, casts a new cloud over the deal, which let DuPont out of a case that could cost other lead paint companies billions of dollars.

In case you've lost track, let's recap the whole history of unusual relationships that have been revealed in this case so far...
  • The state of Rhode Island sues five paint manufacturers, Atlantic Richfield, DuPont, Millennium Holdings, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams for creating a "public nuisance" by selling lead paint (the companies are not tried under product liability laws because the state's case is too weak).
  • The Rhode Island Attorney General's office retains private law firms to represent the state on a contingency basis. One of the law firms is Motley-Rice. At some point, Motley-Rice pledges money to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston for reasons unrelated to the lead paint action.
  • In July of 2005, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch agrees to drop DuPont from the suit in return for DuPont donating $12,500,000 to various charities. Eventually, three of the other defendants (Millennium, NL, Sherwin) are held responsible for damages that could amount to billions.
  • Around the same time he is negotiating DuPont's relatively cheap release from the lawsuit, the lawyer and the wife of the lawyer representing DuPont donate $2,500 to Patrick Lynch's re-election campaign.
  • One charity selected to receive a payout from DuPont payout is Brigham and Women's Hospital which has no anti-lead poisoning program. According to testimony from Attorney General Lynch, they are included, at least in part, because of Motley-Rice's unfulfilled pledges unrelated to lead paint.
  • A second charity selected to receive a payout is the Children's Health Forum, described in the excerpt at the top of this post. DuPont is thus released from the case in return for transferring money to an organization that it founded and already funds.


In today's Projo, Mike Stanton and Peter B. Lord fill in more details of the DuPont-Children's Health Forum deal.

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this whole lead paint trial is like a giant "corruption onion"

Patrick Lynch - or at the very least - his Chief of Staff should resign

where's the projo on this story? where's talk radio? where's the general assembly and the governor demanding answers?

remeber, this whole thing was started by sheldon whitehouse. his fingerprints are all over this, and we should not forget to bring him into this conversation.

oh, and if they haven't already been, the feds should be alerted.

Posted by: johnb at August 3, 2006 7:58 PM

Hmm . . . the whole thing was started by Sheldon . . .?

Don't forget that Sheldon has often claimed almost single-handed responsibility for "solving" the RI Workers Comp. crisis of the early 1990s . . .by setting up Beacon Mutual Insurance . . .check out all of the contributor connections between Sheldon and members of the Beacon board . . .

How come Sheldon is skating on this scandal, as well?

Posted by: brassband at August 3, 2006 8:07 PM

And don't forget who is a partner at Motley Rice...Patrick's good friend (to the tune of about $10,000 in contributions) John McConnell.

"In your face" corruption by our own AG.

This situation is so disgusting that I want to vomit. Repeatedly.

Posted by: oz at August 3, 2006 11:04 PM

It is now clear that no part of this "settlement" was honorable.

Expect at some point soon Lynch to announce that all of the "settlement" will go where it should have gone. The only problem is, a bank robber cannot undo his crime by handing back the loot as the police are closing in.

Posted by: SusanD at August 3, 2006 11:13 PM

so the Children's Health Forum has its offices in DuPont's lobbyist's offices?!?

Doesn't this sound like Guy Dufault all over again!?

Posted by: johnb at August 4, 2006 11:14 AM

{Comment deleted because of fraudulent use of another person's identity}

Posted by: -- at August 4, 2006 4:50 PM

{The commeneter above} sounds like she doesn't have anything to defend Patrick Lynch with

Posted by: johnb at August 4, 2006 5:40 PM

Lynch was so desperate to claim some kind of victory that he let a defendant structure their own settlement. They sure took advantage of it.

Dupont asserts in the Stanton article today that Lynch dropped them as a defendant strictly on merit, not because of the $12.5m non-settlement they agreed to pay. Lynch disagrees. Jeepers, shouldn't we have coordinated our story a little better, guys?

Posted by: SusanD at August 4, 2006 8:39 PM

it looks like it's time for lynch to go

Posted by: robert at August 5, 2006 8:21 AM

In the past I thought Patrick simply to be an incompetent political hack. Didn't realize how slimey he is as he uses the child victims of lead paint poisoning as political props. What a creep!

Posted by: Tim at August 5, 2006 9:07 AM

Patrick Lynch has been very effective and will continue to be effective after he wins in November!

Posted by: Rino Cooke at August 6, 2006 9:44 AM

"Patrick Lynch has been very effective and will continue to be effective after he wins in November!"

Absolutely true. He's effectively played goalie for the corrupt Democrats. We shouldn't expect any less from the little brother of the head of the Dems.

Posted by: Greg at August 6, 2006 6:39 PM


please provide 2 examples (i wouldn't think to ask for three) of just how Patrick Lynch has been effective as AG

This is a softball. Swing away

Posted by: johnb at August 6, 2006 7:07 PM

Please call me Rinny. Do you think grandpa Billy Harsch will do a better job? He is a mean crany old man. You know he will not win his race right?


Posted by: Rino Cooke at August 8, 2006 8:08 AM

Dear Rinny,

If you could, please answer my previous question. Remeber: I'm only asking for 2 (two) examples of how PL has been effective as attorney general.

And to answer your question: yes, I do believe Harsch can win. From the Station Night Club Fire to the Newport Pub Crawl death and the recent report of the sex offender in woonsocket, Lynch has proven that he is not going prosecute those people that need to be held accountable for their actions. Further, his paltry record on regulating utility and healthcare costs is totally unacceptable. Harsch was chairman of the PUC. He knows regulation (just listen to him on the radio) and he can be effective.

The writing is on the wall. Lynch is going down.

Posted by: johnb at August 8, 2006 4:21 PM

"please provide 2 examples (i wouldn't think to ask for three) of just how Patrick Lynch has been effective as AG"

Wait, I can do this.

Keeping track of predators. Oh. No...

Corruption on Smith Hill and among his lobbying clients. Let's move on ...

Voter fraud, open meetings, open records. Ruh roh ...

Equal justice for all. Let's see, West Warwick, Newport, unmelted handguns, Paul Valletta. Oh dear ...

Don't anybody tell me! This is do-able. I'll get back to you after I do some more searching.

Posted by: SusanD at August 8, 2006 9:22 PM