— Eye on Everett —

Does Maddox Know Something We Don’t?

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By Josh Resnek


Cathy Judd Stein ready to rule; How does Matt Maddox already Know her decision?

Did the new Chairperson of the Gaming Commission Cathy Judd Stein speak with Wynn Resorts president Matt Maddox last week? And more importantly if she did, did she tell him Wynn Resorts is all set?

Did she say, “Don’t worry Matt. The fix is in.”

Sounds like she did just that.

Maddox was ebullient last week detailing to a group of investment experts the June 23 opening of the casino/hotel here in Everett without a hint of doubt.

Maddox told the investment analysts that since Nevada made its peace with Wynn Resorts, that Massachusetts will do the same.

‘Everything is on time. Everything is rolling forward. We are opening on June 23,” he told them.

What does he know that we don’t about the long-awaited second MGC investigation, now bogged down in Las Vegas under a court order not to be released until sometime in March, if at all?

Did Judd Stein tell him about the decision that is coming, that there is nothing whatsoever to worry about? Did she say, “The casino/hotel is just too big to fail, Matt. The law – we can overlook it for you guys. Besides, everyone has been red and its a new company, right?”

Did she say this to him?

Sounds like it, although she is said to be an ethics expert and a keen legal mind, having served five different governors. What has Judd Stein learned during her long and distinguished career serving almost a half dozen governors? She has learned to do what is consistent with necessity when it comes in touch with the law in Massachusetts.

Let’s be truthful about it. The law means very little when it comes to the opening of the casino.

There is simply too much invested to pay attention to the law. While not a lawyer, I can tell you this: if the Massachusetts laws on suitability are adhered to by Judd Stein and her crew, then Wynn Resorts never receives a license, not in 1000 years, no matter what Matt Maddox has to say on the subject.

Maddox is running off his mouth that everything is all set in Massachusetts before the results of the investigation have been revealed.

What is that about, one might well wonder?

Shouldn’t someone like Matt Maddox keep his mouth shut and pray for the right thing to be done rather than making like he knows the fix is in?

Absolutely. Positively.

And what of Judd Stein?

Has she taken the chairmanship of the MGC to preside over the relegation of the law to the laws of the jungle?

Is she presiding over a fix?

Is she leading the fix?

If anyone would know how to do a fix it is she.

Ethics and the law have a way of being bent and twisted when it comes to necessity. Is this what Judd Stein is doing, facing necessity and tossing the law under the bus?

Sure looks that way, doesn’t it?

Steve Wynn lying to the MGC. His chief lawyer lying to the MGC. Even Matt Maddox very likely lying to the MGC, well, it comes down to meaning nothing.

Lying before the MGC under oath as they all did is what the investigation was supposed to be all about.

Did they all lie?

Looks that way.

Then how do they get judged “suitable” by the MGC?

You’d have to be a lawyer, or a judge, or a shrewd and articulate ethics expert like Judd Stein who has served five governors to know.

You’d also have to be part magician.

How will she explain her decision, the MGC’s decision?

Will it be a decision about the sanctity of law or will it be something perfunctory, slapping a billionaire company who should have known better on the wrist and telling them they can get on with their gambling business here without a concern for what came before?

Does it matter who owns the casino?

Not really.

Does it matter who signs the checks and who pays the taxes when all is said and done?

Not really.

What matters to Judd Stein is that the damn place opens and on time so the money starts flowing into the state treasury.

“Open the place,” the governor likely told her.

It always comes down to money in a society like ours.

The law is law until it comes to money.

Judd Stein needs a pretext to sink the law and to drown out ethics.

The pretext here is billions are at risk.

Either this or she shows what kind of lawyer she is, and how valuable her legal reasoning is, and how important her ethics are by finding Wynn Resorts unsuitable to own the gaming license.

If she has a spine and strong teeth, this is what she will do.

We will know soon what this woman is all about.

We will learn exactly what she will lead the Gaming Commission to do.

Sounds like Matt Maddox has already been told what she’s going to do.

What does this say about Judd Stein’s ethics?

Wellness Center Fiasco

The mayor’s ongoing effort to take over the public schools, which has intensified in the post Fred Foresteire era, ran into a few stumbles since last week’s roll out which seemed to be seamless and smooth.

Last week, the mayor and his city dietician Karen Avila told the School Committee he wanted not to renew a longtime contract with Aramark, and to make life better for Everett public school kids, by making certain they are only eating the best foods.

This might easily have translated into this: the mayor wants a new vendor because he wants the contract awarded to a friend rather than to a company that runs a smooth and pro table operation in all the city’s schools.

After all, what could be more important than taking care of a friend?

So what if by doing so the city loses about $2 million a year as long as the friend gets the contract?



This is how municipal government in Everett works at the highest level right now.

The mayor works hardest when he’s trying to renegotiate a city contract with a new vendor.

New vendors are important.

He has a love for new vendors, or even of some old vendors – but not Aramark.

He is trying to make Aramark disappear.

He and and his city dietician, Karen Avila looked good and sounded good at that meeting last week.

Then came the rumblings.

And then the resignation of Avila.

Karen Avila listed herself as a registered dietician.

She listed herself as RD on all her city e-mails, which, by the way, have since been erased.

The only problem with this is that her registration ran out last August. In most cities the mayor would have red her.

Here, the mayor very likely called her and told her to resign – and then fumed to himself about the situation which got out of hand.

The Wellness Center is a mess, as the public schools will be a mess if the mayor gets his hands around them.

Trading Fred Foresteire for the mayor is an unkind trade for the kids of this city.

They may be cut from the same cloth but when you come right down to it, the mayor has shown his colors with this Avila situation.

He has thrown many friends under the bus for doing far less than forgetting to register as a dietician.

What, I wonder will the mayor now do to move this contract change away from Aramark now that Avila will no longer be there?

What scheme will take the place of her no show job?

And what about the sexual abusers and harassers still running the place?

What will he do with them – his good friends?

Uprising on the Way?

Is the mayor’s complete domination of the city council a thing of the past?

Not yet, but that time is coming, and soon.

The cracks in the dam are all evident to those who pay close attention.

The mayor spends no time at city hall and has no time for the city council.

As the mayor’s gaffes and difficulties grow, the council’s influence to change things will be felt.

There are already a gang of voices willing to question the mayor led by Councilor Fred Capone, and aided and abetted by Councilors Mike Marchese, Wayne Matewski and Steve Simonelli. Two more voices and the mayor has a real time problem inside the council chamber where he rarely appears and has little to no interest in appearing.

The quiet council may not be so quiet in the weeks and months to come.

Then its election time, again, and the whole place can change.

Let’s see what happens.


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