By Josh Resnek
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts allowed a lawsuit by Mohegan Sun against Wynn Resorts to proceed last Friday. The highest court in Massachusetts ruled that the lawsuit should return to a lower court for a decision.
But this might not mean much according to those familiar with the legal case. In addition, the judge handling the case in the Superior Court is believed to have very little interest in the case.
Some direct players in this casino game on the other side of the Wynn deal with the Gaming Commission and the city of Everett remain hopeful this could blow the cover off a flawed and favored Wynn suitability decision.
“Everyone knows about the gangster in the land deal and of Gaming Commission Chairman Steven Crosby’s relationship with one of the owners of the land. The land deal was corrupt. How it went down was corrupt,” said a source familiar with the case who wished to remain unnamed.
“I can guarantee you this victory in the Massachusetts Supreme Court will cause the Mohegan Sun legal team to depose everyone named in all documents relating to the land deal that went down in Everett and this includes the mayor of Everett.
“In fact, those depositions are already underway,” the source said.
The FBI has been conducting an investigation into public corruption believed to be related to the land deal, although the FBI refuses to admit or to deny there is an ongoing investigation.
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria has payed criminal attorneys $130,000 from his campaign account recently to defend himself against potential legal problems believed to be related to the casino land deal, as reported in the Leader Herald.
The Supreme Court found that the Gaming Commission had violated the open meeting law – that is – the GC was discussing things behind closed doors about Wynn Resorts and the land deal with Everett when those discussions should have been in the open clear light of day.
Mohegan Sun counsel will gather all the details of phone calls, e-mails and discussions shared by all the principals involved, including Wynn President Matthew Maddox, the Wynn lawyer, and those responsible for overlooking Wynn’s $7.5 million paternity payment and with members of the GC from that period.
“If the GC was interested in getting under the covers of this Wynn deal it would be proven corrupt from day one. No one at the GC wants to deal with reality,” said the source.
This law suit is all about Mohegan Sun wanting to have Wynn’s license removed. It seeks to replace itself with Wynn. It claims it was cheated out of its rightful place when it had done all of its filings within the law and lost the suitability rating, unlike Wynn who filed false information and failed to detail illegal and unethical actions and received the suitability rating.
The law suit basically asks: “How can a corporation lie and pass the GC’s suitability rating while those doing just the opposite are cast aside as unsuitable?”
Pretty good question, isn’t it.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the GC violated the “open meetings” law in the state while deliberating on a $1 billion-dollar casino license in Everett. Wynn Resorts was competing against a joint venture by Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs at the time.
When the decision was announced in 2014, several groups joined in the lawsuit: Mohegan Sun, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the City of Revere, and a group of Revere residents. The Mohegan Sun/Suffolk Downs development was planned for Revere.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Mohegan Sun had standing in the lawsuit, but the city and the workers union did not.
Instead of the Revere casino plan, the Gaming Commission chose Steve Wynn’s proposal to build the casino in Everett.
This was a stunning victory for the mayor of Everett and for Wynn, and as it turns out, another example of the GC’s submission to the Wynn effort over everyone else. As much as it was a stunning victory for the mayor of Everett, it was also about his betrayal, a source insisted.
The lawsuit includes a number of complaints with the deliberations, which included allegations that the Gaming Commission’s chairman had financial ties to one of the Everett investors. Crosby, eventually recused himself from casino decisions.
When a leaker from the committee deliberation suggested Crosby was trying to manipulate the decision behind the scenes after his recusal, a Massachusetts government ethic agency launched a probe into Crosby’s conduct. That investigation eventually was dropped later in 2015 and members of the Gaming Commission resigned.
When Boston newspapers began to investigate the Everett land deal, they found that a convicted felon with alleged ties to the mafia was another investor. While that investor appears to have been a minor part of the Everett group, his presence made it impossible for Steve Wynn to buy the land from the group, due to Massachusetts gambling laws. Eventually, the City of Everett bought the plot of land, then sold it to Wynn Resorts at a cost.
A spokesman for Wynn Resorts said last week that the ruling has no effect on the $1.9 billion Wynn Boston Harbor development.