Tough Week For The Mayor
By Josh Resnek
It is a hard thing to live with being called a thief by lawyers ling a motion in Federal Court in the effort to succeed with a civil lawsuit when you are the mayor of Everett.
This is exactly what happened over the weekend when the Boston Herald headlined a story about an amended motion entered in Federal Court maintaining that the entire apparatus of state government, lobbyists, lawyers, the Gaming Commission and public of officials past and present conspired to disqualify Sterling Suffolk Raceway, the qualified applicant and choosing over them, Steve Wynn, the sexual harasser who lied to everyone on his way to being granted a casino license here.
The motion detailed what it called,” fraud, kickbacks and political cronyism crossing the line of legality and other unlawful methods to conspire to x the application process…”
The motion pointed a direct finger at Mayor Carlo DeMaria.
The headlines in the Herald on Sunday screamed out a telling allegation about Mayor DeMaria, among others, who all helped out and who were allegedly given or promised rewards for helping out to secure Steve Wynn the golden goose, a gaming license in Everett.
That news spread like a widening flood submerging everything in its path from Boston to Las Vegas to Macau. Wynn’s license, the motion attests, was the result of a flawed process – a fix.
You are the mayor of Everett and you’ve been called a fraud.
That’s a tough allegation to live with when you are a public man.
Allegations that you accepted payoffs or were expecting a commission for the sale of the casino land is a tough thing to deny in today’s world.
When you are made to answer, you lose.
The mayor has been made to answer.
He won’t answer the Leader Herald. He doesn’t talk with us.
He will have to answer others, like many people who gasp at headlines or who believe what they read in the newspapers or online.
The mayor will try to comfort himself by saying the motion is frivolous, that it doesn’t mean anything, that allegations about him are all untrue.
But are they?
That’s a good question, isn’t it.
Would the mayor take a payoff for a contract?
I can’t imagine him doing this but it is a possibility. Would the mayor want to be commissioned for a $75 million sale of the contaminated casino land Wynn bought? It is a possibility but could it have happened?
Would he want a $2 million or $3 million commission for aiding such a sale?
Elected public officials cannot collect commissions like that.
Would Mayor DeMaria want that? Did he accept that?
I don’t know. The courts will decide.
In the meantime, the mayor has to live with the emerging public picture that he is a taker. But is that possible? I doubt it.
Don’t you? Or do you?
Hard to say, isn’t it?
There has to be evidence. It is hard to have evidence of the mayor as a taker because takers general protect themselves by removing themselves from direct contact and let someone else do the taking for them.
Such behavior would be so outrageous, so illegal and so self-indicting.
Then again, when so much money is on the line, would the mayor be inclined to take some payment for a favor in return?
It is possible, as revealed in the amended motion filed in Federal District Court Friday.
But did he take, was he promised a commission for the sale of the land?
Would he use a close friend to make such a deal and would the close friend be called a consultant?
That’s possible but again, but I don’t know.
Is the mayor a deal maker and a taker? I hope not but I don’t know for sure.
Does the mayor accept cash during election season or from his fundraisers? Does he do this personally or through a trusted friend?
I don’t know.
I don’t have evidence of this. Sounds a bit far fetched.
Is he like that or is he not?
I don’t know him or the people who back him well enough to say with any authority.
He does live lavishly, way beyond his salary – and he spends the city’s money as though it was his own.
Does this tell us anything about him? I am not sure.
I am sure of this.
Accusations such as those lodged against the mayor on Friday are hard to dodge.
They follow him all around.
There is no place to run, except maybe to Aruba again – and no place to hide, except perhaps in his mansion near the Woodlawn Cemetery.
I know this.
I wouldn’t want to be the mayor right now.
I wonder how many calls he made to his high priced criminal attorney at Greenberg Traurig in Boston since Sunday morning?
I wonder how many calls he made and how much each call cost?
There kinds of allegations of wrongdoing are impossible to shrug off or to make light of.
They follow him around like dark shadows.
Not much sunlight for the mayor this week as the next shoe prepares to drop in this never ending saga.
I wonder what the big shots, the moralists, the ethics experts, the fair-minded folks on the Gaming Commission have to say about the new allegations in the motion?
Do they care or is the fix in as we all suspect?
I wonder mainly about the new Gaming Commission Chair Attorney Cathy Judd-Stein.
Did she read the amended motion? Of course she did.
Does it move her one way or another? It should.
I wonder about the judge in Las Vegas presently not allowing the results of the Gaming Commission’s investigation to be released, creating an air of uncertainty about whether or not the Encore Casino can open on time.
Did she read the amended motion? Of course she did.
Does it alter how she thinks?
How about the folks at Encore, at Mintz Levin Strategies, former Governor Weld’s, and former Gaming Commissioner Steve Crosby? Did all of them read this?”
Of course they did.
Are they all laughing? I don’t think so.
Are they worried? I doubt it.
Why not? The fix is in.
It has been in since the Gaming Commission rejected the Suffolk Downs guys who were suitable and who lined up to choose Steve Wynn who was clearly unsuitable.
How does that work, one might well ask?
How does this get explained?
Steve Wynn bought his license, it would appear.
The amended motion explains exactly how he accomplished this Mt. Everest type climb.
Could this happen in Massachusetts? What do you think?
Does the law matter? Or is opening the doors to the casino more important than the law.
I think we all know the answer to this question.