By Josh Resnek
Depositions are being taken this week in Boston and Wellesley from a handful of the high powered attorneys and principals who played a role in the sale of the 33 acres of polluted land where the Encore Boston Harbor stands today,” according to sources familiar with the private legal proceedings.
Being deposed are former Governor and Mintz Levin Attorney William Weld, Steven Tocco, of Mintz Levin, Attorney James Popeo, the founder and president of Mintz Levin, Dustin DeNunzio of FBT and former Wynn corporate counsel, Kim Marie Sinatra.
The depositions are being sought by Anthony Gattinari, one of the land principals fighting to restore his name after it was muddied by his association with FBT Real Estate, the owners of the land who conveyed it to Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts.
Gattinari has privately sued Wynn claiming former Encore President Rob DeSalvio, shook his hand on a $40 million promise for his share of the land after the price for the parcel was reduced by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission from $75 million to $35 million.
FBT officials are suing Wynn to recover their loss as well.
FBT is apparently attempting to bundle all the outstanding lawsuits to gain a settlement from Wynn.
Settlement estimates range from $12 million to $25 million to satisfy everyone’s professed needs, legal documents reveal.
Two weeks ago, half of a Federal civil Rico lawsuit by Sterling Suffolk Downs against Wynn was tossed by Federal Judge Patti Saris.
Saris would not allow the Rico lawsuit aspects of the filing to go forward.
However, she allowed Suffolk Sterling’s right to sue in state court its contention that Wynn got the land through illegal means, using political influence. It is believed Suffolk Sterling is moving forward with such a legal move.
As part of that suit it is alleged that Mayor Carlo DeMaria accepted a kick-back to facilitate the sale of the land to Wynn – a charge the mayor denies.
Questions are apparently being asked in legal circles familiar with the lawsuits and the nature of the depositions, what will be asked?
Will Weld be asked how much pressure he applied to get Gattinari to sign a confirmation fort the sale of the land?
Did he exert pressure on former Gaming Commission Chair Steve Crosby?
What was his relationship with former landowner Paul Lohnes – interestingly, an FBT member who went unindicted, who was a business associate of Crosby’s?
Did DeSalvio promise Gattinari the world if would just sign the deal, that confirmation? DeSalvio was fired from Encore several weeks ago. Was it related to exaggerated earnings estimates or was it something else?
Will DeSalvio be asked about the importance of keeping the Wynn deal alive? What was he willing to do to keep the deal alive?
These are just a few of the possibilities that may be revealed as these depositions are held all this week.