By Josh Resnek
The city council’s attempt to have Mayor Carlo DeMaria reveal why he has spent more than $200,000 from his campaign finance account for criminal attorneys was underscored Tuesday afternoon by the Federal indictment of Representative David Nangle for misusing his campaign fund account for personal expenses.
Persistent questioning of the mayor’s use of campaign funds for criminal attorneys, and his refusal to be forthcoming about the nature of the representation and whether or not it is for personal reasons – and if not – for what reason – is now coming to a head.
A review of the mayor’s expenditures is apparently being conducted by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
Five members of the city council are adamant that the mayor reveal what the legal expenses are for.
During the first week of March, the mayor has been asked to appear before the city council committee of the whole to answer such questions. Councilors Mike Marchese, Gerly Adrien, Fred Capone, and Mike McLaughlin are insistent that the mayor needs to answer for his legal expenses and what they are for.
“It’s time for the mayor to come clean,” Marchese told the Leader Herald.
In addition, a local resident has asked for the city to reveal what the mayor’s proffer with the US Attorney’s office is all about.
The proffer came as a result of an FBI investigation that allegedly included the mayor and his participation in a scheme to have Steve Wynn buy the casino land and to have him awarded the gaming license and host city status for Everett.
However, city clerk Sergio Cornelio said he had nothing to offer the resident because the city clerk did not have access to or keep on hand such information.
The resident followed this with an appeal to the state’s keeper of records.
The keeper of the records is now requiring the mayor to follow-up with the city clerk within ten days before taking action of its own.
Nangle, a longtime representative from Lowell, was indicted for the misuse of compensation he received as part of his membership in the state legislature.
Despite his salary and perks, Nangle was heavily in debt, had poor credit and had regular cash flow problems, according to the Federal indictment.
He is also alleged to have an extensive gambling habit at various casinos throughout New England and in Boston and that he had incurred tens of thousands of dollars in gambling-related spending and losses.
To keep himself afloat financially, Nangle illicitly used campaign funds to pay for personal expense, to defraud his bank lender and to collect income that he failed to report to the Internal Revenue Service.
DeMaria has used $200,000 of his campaign funds for criminal attorneys to represent him despite raising the money for campaigns although his last fundraiser and several in past years were held when it was not an election year.
Nangle did the same thing, according to the Federal indictment.
He used his campaign funds to supplement his personal finances instead of using the funds for permissible campaign purposes, it is alleged.
OCPF reviewed Nangle’s campaign finance activity, the way it is reviewing DeMaria’s to ensure accurate disclosure and legal compliance. In a 28 page indictment the government alleges Nangle misued his campaign income and created expenses, paid contractors for work completed at his home with campaign money, paid credit cards and for vacations with campaign funds as well as paying to rent automobiles and for a golf membership, among many others.
He also failed to report free work that was completed at his home by contractors to the IRS.
Nangle’s indictment underscores the importance of the OCPF review of Mayor Demaria’s campaign expense account.
“We need to know exactly what is going on with the mayor’s campaign account,” Marchese repeated.