The Mayor’s Legal Expenses: Marchese Wants Answers

by Josh Resnek

Why is the mayor paying hefty monthly legal fees for criminal attorneys to represent him? This is a question Councillor Mike Marchese has raised in response to a Herald Leader investigative report last week which revealed the mayor has paid, and is likely continuing to pay, huge legal fees, so far $130,000, to criminal attorneys.

That report included detailed records of the payments made, when they were made, who they were paid, to and how much they were.

The criminal attorney fees are all being paid from the mayor’s campaign account.
The bulk of the fees have been paid to Greenberg Traurig, a huge national law firm with an office at International Place in Boston. Greenberg Traurig specializes in representing individuals involved in Federal investigations and other criminal matters.

Marchese says the mayor paying such fees from month to month indicates something could be wrong. He said a number of his constituents and friends asked him questions about the report over the weekend.

“This is not just about the mayor, rather, it is about the city and the right to know if he’s facing criminal legal problems,” said Marchese. “If the mayor is facing a legal problem, a criminal investigation by the FBI and the US Attorney’s office, then I believe the council as a whole needs to know what’s up. The mayor needs to meet with us and let us know what’s going on,” Marchese told the Leader Herald.

Marchese said he will be filing a motion for the entire council to meet in executive session with the mayor within two weeks to let him discuss the matter and to explain exactly what is going on.

The mayor did not answer a request for comments on the matter. Several councilors reached by the Leader Herald declined to comment until the mayor was given the right to explain what exactly is going on.

“Every councilor has a responsibility to the city charter, which requires us to ask questions of the mayor if we believe the well being of the city might be compromised,” Marchese said. “Everett as a host city could be at risk if the mayor is in trouble,” Marchese added.

When Gaming Commission spokesperson Elaine Driscoll was asked whether or not the city’s host city status could be effected if the mayor is under a Federal investigation or another criminal matter, she said she wouldn’t answer a hypothetical comment.

“I decline to comment,” she said.

In answer to a question asking whether or not anyone on the Gaming Commission was under criminal investigation, Driscoll said, “No.”

An e-mail request to Greenberg Traurig’s Director of Media Operations, Lourdes Brezo Martinez, for information about the representation being provided by the law firm for the mayor was unsuccessful.

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