It’s been a week since Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and chief executive of the corporation that bears his name in the wake of an explosive Wall Street Journal report that outlines years of menacing sexual misconduct. He denied the allegations, but only as he was tumbling down multiple flights of stairs. It’s 2018 and things happen freakishly fast when someone gets caught in the #MeToo vortex. No big-wig is too big to fall.
First, Wynn resigned his post as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. And then his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, cut ties with him. And then the Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced it would investigate the matter. And then Boston Globe called for his removal. You get the idea.
And, so, Wynn’s stepping aside had an air of inevitability. But it’s still jarring. Wynn Resorts without Steve Wynn? It feels like Richie’s without slush.
Can you think of anything similar to this?
This thing is unfolding steadily, but it’s impossible to predict its final shape. The state’s gaming commission, no doubt still smarting from its failure to discover, during the initial licensing process, that Wynn allegedly makes masseuses and manicurists run for cover, is vowing to continue its review. Investigators might not come up with anything beyond what the Journal reported. Then again, they might add another layer or two to the story, particularly as it relates to the reported $7.5 million Wynn paid to a women who claims she was forced into having sex with the mogul. Who knew what, and when did they know it? Those sorts of things.
Other questions abound.
What, exactly, happens to Wynn’s 12-percent stake in the corporation?
What, precisely, does his resignation mean? Will he fade from view completely, or just from the public eye?
Will the corporation continue its feverish buying spree around the casino site?
How much are we going to hear from the groups that lost the battle for the Greater Boston casino license? There have been rumblings. Do they get louder? Will this mess eventually end up before a judge?
Will the casino open as planned in June of 2019?
Will it really end up costing $2.4 billion? ($2.4 billion? Wow Are the toilets getting filled with Champagne instead of water?)
Oh, and what about that multi-million-dollar statue of Popeye Wynn wants to anchor in the lobby of his Everett masterpiece? Will the tycoon and art aficionado want to part with such an important piece if he’s been cast out to sea?
Should we stop asking questions and cease speculating? Is it better to follow the Mayor of Everett’s lead? The silence coming from City Hall is deafening. For some reason, we don’t know why, the Mayor of Everett has decided it’s best not to say anything at all about these grotesque allegations.
Other elected city officials we’ve talked to sound a little like this: “Steve who? Oh, yeah … Gee, sorry. Those are just allegations and, you know, it wouldn’t be proper to talk about allegations.”
Not everyone found it so difficult to speak up. Take the people who run the University of Pennsylvania. Less than a week after the Journal published its story, the university released a statement that read, in part: “First, we will remove the name Wynn Commons, named for Mr. Wynn … Second, Mr. Wynn’s name will be removed from a scholarship fund established by a donation from him … Third, we will revoke Mr. Wynn’s honorary degree.”
We wonder if the Mayor of Everett will opt for silence regarding any negative or sensitive subject relating to the casino. There are small matters to consider, after all. Things like crime and prostitution and morbid gambling addiction and suicide and traffic and …
Sorry. We’ll shut up now.