Diaz hopes to use space at 116 Dickens St. for her garage and auto sales shop. Her fiance', Daniel Martinez, would be employed as the mechanic.
Diaz and Martinez were before the council earlier this month when they revealed that Basilio Rosario, the shop's former occupant who was arrested in 2011 for drug trafficking, is the former stepfather of Martinez. The shop was allegedly used as a front for the drug business. Diaz and Martinez both denied having any contact with Rosario.
"I left this meeting rather unhappy and I think that my client and her fiancé were unhappy – not unhappy with any of the questions, but unhappy with the way which I failed and they failed to address any of the questions that were lodged with any of the councilors," Attorney Ed Casey, who represents Diaz, said.
Martinez reiterated to the board that he no longer has a relationship with Rosario.
"I do know him, but I have no affiliation with him," he said. "I won’t speak to him. I purchased the machines from the garage and asked if the machines were available."
Diaz went before the board to express that she feels she meets the definition for "proper person."
"For me, that person is honest, hardworking, goal oriented, educated, good manors and moral, good work ethic," she said.
Diaz said that since coming to America from the Dominican Republic in 2006, she has worked hard despite confronting a large amount of adversity, including the loss of a child, which brought her to tears in front of the council.
She also said she plans to be present at the business from 9-5 Monday through Friday and to adhere to all of the zoning laws provided under a special permit from the zoning board.
Councilman Richard Conti said her willingness to be at the shop every day laid to rest his biggest concern.
Councilman Peter Blais agreed.
"I was in your type of biz for 55 years and it’s a hard business and we need people with your work ethics that you’ve exhibited and your willingness to work to make it succeed," he said. "I wish you all the luck in the world."
Ward 1 City Councilor Walter Thibodeau, however, said he will not support the permit, citing the 2011 incident under the previous occupant.
"I can’t support it because its within my ward and the voters within my ward have expressed to me that they do not want that business to operate in the same fashion they have operated previously," he said.
The matter will be back before the licenses committee before going to the full council for vote.