Ilan Parente and I spoke late last night, about 1:30 am EDT, about yesterday's AP rehash of the story.
Im not sure what to make of Parente's remarks about the back taxes he owes, although I tend to think it may be related to what Parente feels is mistreatment from the City of Bridgewater.
The claims made by the city about the amount of rotting meat and the condition of the plant are belied by the pictures the city itself apparently supplied the AP, by what the City Attorney told me three months ago, and by the county's Emergency Management Coordinator, who refused to describe the condition of the boxes or what anything looked like.(Scroll down.) All this gives credence to Parente's claims.
At any rate, the idea that Parente would turn off the broken freezer in early winter is believable, as is coming back in May to clean it out and finding freezer contents buried under a sheet of ice caused by a broken pipe.
And so is Parente's claim that he didn't get back to the plant in time before the meat thawed and began to rot.
That doesn't excuse him, but it does give context that is otherwise missing.