Somerville/Medford Speakup Line: “Commissioner Antanavica Abused Power against Minority”

(After reading this speak up line request, please notice “EDITORS NOTE” below)

Dear Billy T and Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line,

Dear Journalists Julia Taliesin and William Tauro (cc Commissioner Antanavica, City Council, Mayor’s Office, City Clerk, City Solicitor, Planning Staff, Somerville News Weekly),

This is a moment of reckoning….one that I truly never wanted to be a part of.

It is undisputed now that I have been unfairly harmed by Building Commissioner Nicholas Antanavica.

The attached 19-page State Appeals Board Decision shows that Commissioner Antanavica was incorrect when he accused me of occupying 21 Cherry Street without a Certificate of Occupancy.

The board agreed with me that I did NOT need a new certificate of occupancy.

This means that Mr. Antanavica weaponized the building code and abused me with it. He fined me $478,000, misled the Somerville Journal, and misled the City Council to believe I illegally occupied that building.

This abuse is increasingly common in the City of Somerville Building Department, especially in relation to minorities. And it needs to stop.

1. Mr. Long (City Clerk), please confirm that the outrageous $478,000 in fines that were issued against me for giving people shelter during COVID have been vacated.
2. City Council President McLaughlin, I request an independent investigation of ISD’s abuse of power, ISD’s willful misrepresentations to the City Council and Journalists, and ISD’s racist behavior. You have now witnessed this abuse first-hand (and certain councilors participated in it).
3. Mayor Curtatone, I request a formal apology for the abusive behavior of Mr. Antanavica. I further request an acknowledgement that I served humanity by giving otherwise-homeless humans a safe place to live during COVID.
4. Ms. Taliesin and Mr. Tauro, I respectfully insist that you publish a follow-up article that indicates the following: The Somerville Inspectional Services Department improperly accused Mouhab Rizkallah occupying 21 Cherry Street without a certificate of occupancy. The State Board sided with Mouhab Rizkallah and disagreed with Commissioner Nicholas Antanavica. The City of Somerville must now vacate the $478,000 in abusive fines issued by Mr. Antanavica. Mouhab Rizkallah requested a formal apology from Mayor Curtatone for the behavior of Mr. Antanavica and requested an independent investigation from Councilor McLauglin against the Somerville ISD for abuse of power and racist behavior. Ms. Taliesin and Mr. Tauro, I respectfully request that you entitle your article: “Commissioner Antanavica Abused Power against Minority”

Again, I never wanted any part of this. This was a witch-hunt, and I am grateful to the state board of inspectors for correcting Mr. Antanavica, an abusive rogue official.


Dr. Mouhab Z. Rizkallah


More abuse surfacing at the Somerville Department of Public Works. Shortly you’ll see an article I will be writing about the same individual from the building department who murmured a racial slur against this man’s workers in front of them. This city official/inspector that was sent out to the job site referred to this Man’s workers by stating about these Chinese workers to the affect of as to the “Chinx are good on their knees!” This Somerville inspecter should be fired and brought up on racial charges as well! This story is still developing…

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