Rep Don Turner’s Response to Boves and Low Income Renters



After a month of silence, Don Turner’s campaign for LT Governor finally responded to our questions. As a State Rep and Town Manager of Milton, it’s important to ask what relationship Mr Turner has with the Boves, predatory landlords and business owners. I have included the entire disappointing and short conversation below. In short: “Boves is a significant business in the Milton community, and Don is humbled to have the support of their leadership and employees.”

We hope the free food for his kickoff event didn’t play a part in his response, ignoring the dozen+ folks who have come forward to share their stories.


Why Did the Boves Illegaly Evict This Woman? (Video)


Mark and Rick Bove, aka Bove Brothers Realty and Bove’s of Vermont Sauces have a history of preying on low-income families.

One brave former tenant, Heather Rayta, tells her story about how the Bove Brothers took all of her belongings and priceless family photos, leaving her illegally homeless. Find more stories and how you can get involved at

Boves’ Buildings Finally Get Fixed


The Bove family is worth over $40,000,000. So why did it take so long for them to fix one of their buildings, where several of their restaurant employees lived? As one victim stated:

“So they would make him stay [At Boves Restaurant] and work past a certain time and wouldn’t pay him past a certain time and he worked minimum wage for the whole time….Yeah George at [st] was awful mold and wood floors water damage caving ceiling my grandmas neighbor had animals in her kitchen and her porch was unstable it is crazy my papa worlds [worked for] for them to [too] and they ripped him off sad.” – Relative of former Boves Restaurant Worker, contacted through Facebook.

How did Rick and Mark Bove reward their loyal employee, according to officials?

“The Burlington Housing Review Board on April 18 ordered Bove to fix violations including broken windows, leaky plumbing, a cracked toilet seat, failed caulking, defective cooking equipment, and cracked walls and holes in the ceiling.”

It’s hard to believe Rick Bove’s argument, that he was waiting to renovate and was ‘loathe to put money into the property when it is going to be completely renovated’ feels like what a stretch, especially when one considers that Rick Bove lives in a $1.6 million mansion in Colchester and Mark Bove lives in a $1.4 million mansion also in Colchester. In a housing Board of Review appeal, the board recognized that Rick and Mark Bove had said they plan on “renovating/and or redeveloping the property for years with nothing changing.”

You can find the Housing Board of Review decision here.

Finally, the building is being fixed, all of which could have been done years ago if the Boves were fair and reasonable landlords. The former tenants, however, get no justice, many of whom have been moved to Bove properties outside Burlington, where enforcement and oversight is terribly lax and even more ineffectual than in the city.

As of now, one city councilor has shown interest in working with us to support tenants and hold predatory landlords accountable.


As of 9/19/2018

Update: Why was Burlington Code Enforcement Director Offering Unsolicited Help on Bove’s Facebook Page?


Update: it has been made clear we have not been as specific as possible regarding our concerns. Post updated to reflect this.

Relationships in small town can be tough, especially when the person whose job is to enforce the laws is overly friendly with a person whose business has repeatedly broken said laws. Is this sort of personal Facebook outreach given to low-income tenants who have been preyed upon by the Boves? Or are the Boves’ Facebook friends and have a connection that most of us do not have? And how can we trust that in Burlington that there won’t be conflicts of interest* between the political powerful and wealthy landlords?

Our concern is with not just a potential conflict of interest, which does not require any malice or ill intent, but also with the appearance of a conflict. Our concerns are that Mark Bove is an owner in Bove Brothers Realty, and that there could be unconscious bias towards one’s Facebook friend or their brother.

By offering unsolicited help through a personal Facebook page, this interaction leads to an appearance of conflict of interest, where some folks have access to local leaders in a way that others do not. This is why we bring up our concerns, for an appearance of a conflict can be just as damaging as an actual conflict.

*“A conflict of interest is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.”

Boves Pasta Sauce Reddit Convo


We brought a couple conversations to Reddit’s Vermont and Burlington pages. Please give it a read and let us know what you think!

Vermont Conversation Here.

Burlington Conversation Here.



Boves by the Numbers


A friend of the campaign created this beautiful and informative flier showcasing some of the stories and concerns we have.

Why don’t $40 millionaires Boves take care of their rental properties?


Looking at statewide data from 2016, I have found that the Bove Brothers are worth a minimum of $40,000,000 in land value, likely easily upwards of $50,000,000 when one considers the value of their pasta sauce empire and rental property income. So for two brothers to be worth so much, to be in the .1% of Vermonters, why couldn’t they spend just a bit of their large profits to ensure their properties were kept up to code? Why do they take renters’ deposits, which is life savings for their tenants and just a drop in the bucket for the Boves, when they are wealthier beyond most Vermonters’ imaginations?

As I will show in a later post, this sort of behavior unfortunately didn’t start with the current Bove generation, but began with their parents as soon to be evidenced with documents showing fines and Housing Board of Review decisions. Atleast the previous generation had the good sense to not hire drug dealers to ‘fix’ their units.


Why these Vermont politicians need to return Bove’s money immediately.


It’s tough to see that some of Vermont’s most powerful politicians receive money from Rick and Mark Bove and feel like low-income Vermonters are being heard right now. It’s tough to see thousands of dollars, some of which was squeezed from low-income families, going to support politicians that are supposed to protect the very same vulnerable and marginalized families who have had money taken from them. It’s tough to see these elected officials remain silent in the face of growing evidence of negligence and malfeasance. We demand that these politicians return the Boves’ dirty campaign money immediately.



Burlington Mayor Weinberger, a parking lot, and Rick and Mark Bove

In December 2017, the city of Burlington sold a public parking lot to Rick and Mark Bove, even though the year before they had 38 housing violations on adjacent properties. A few months later, the Bove Brothers gave Mayor Weinberger a nice reelection gift to the tune of $2,000. They also happen to be friends on Facebook, which gives the impression of conflict of interest.




Attorney General T.J. Donovan and Mark Bove

Our Attorney General has not yet investigated what relationship Rick and Mark Bove may have had with Almighty Peaks Painting, a front that was busted with 1 kilo of heroin by the DEA in 2017. In 2016, the Boves gave TJ $400 in party-night expenses, likely some of their food, in addition to $1,000 in cash. In 2018 they returned to give another $1,000 election donation, even though TJ is running unopposed.


On top of this, just this March, TJ judged a local iron chef competition with Mark Bove. It certainly looks like a very chummy relationship.




Governor Phil Scott and Mark Bove

Governor Scott has been a booster of the slumlords’ Bove Pasta Sauce company, standing with them and helping them return to Vermont. He happened to receive a $4,000 donation shortly after the move was announced. They are also friends on Facebook.



Lt Governor Candidate, former Rep, and Milton Town Manager Don Turner.

Mark Bove credits Phil Scott, Dick Mazza (more on this in another post), and Don Turner with helping bring his company back to Vermont. Shortly after investing his dirty money in Milton with Turner’s support, Turner was given $750 in-kind donations for an event, likely Bove food products. They are also friends on Facebook.

The Boves and Almighty Peaks Painting


The Boves hired Almighty Peaks Painting for years, a company busted with a kilo of heroin last year, and ignored the complaints of residents. Then, the city sold property to the Boves, who had done business for years with a drug dealer, a story for another day.


Almighty Peaks was the plow company. I called them (one time) and asked them to come out and we were told by our landlord not to come out until it stops snowing, and it was that 72 hour storm. Several cars got stuck. IS THIS LEGAL? Part of my lease is that they would cover plowing, I assume that means I can safely leave and come back. The fire lane wasn’t plowed.”


Almighty peaks Took everything out of garage when domestic assault case, woman moved out and man’s stuff was left behind. They took it and sold it on craigslist, also stole from apartment.”


“Hire Almighty Peaks Painting, they sell drugs in the building.”


“There’s no way to contact Bove. No way to email him, no way to call him, because they keep us at bay. Police reports about painters going in to apartments, they stole medicine on the third floor.”

Bove’s Homecoming Event Letter


As of today we have contacted every organization involved in the Bove’s Homecoming event and we have asked them to not participate in the events. Here is the email below.

If you appreciate or love any of these orgs, please email them and let them know you don’t want them associated or doing business with predatory landlords.

Our Partners: Pizza Papillo, Sausage Shack, It’s A Utica Thing, The Vermont Butcher Shop with their new Switchback Brewing Company BBQ Sauces, SunCommon, Joey the Clown, Cabot Creamery Co-operative, Sisters of Anarchy (Fisher Brothers Farm), Ken Lacouture Producer/ Documentary. Featured music will be Shake which is a 2018 Finalist for “Best Pop Band” in Vermont for the 2018 Seven Daysies awards!


Hi _______

We noticed you will be at Bove’s Homecoming next week and we are hoping you will step away from doing business with the Bove Brothers, who have an unfortunate history of preying on hundreds of low-income, working-class Vermonters.

Please check our website out and please let us know when you choose to stop doing business with folks who have hurt so many vulnerable neighbors and friends, so that we can publicly celebrate your courage in standing up for the little guy.

Thank you.