When the mayor requested to speak Monday night about questions relating to excessive legal fees he has paid to a prominent criminal lawyer and former US Attorney in Boston, A. John Pappalardo, the mayor refused to speak.
In his place, he ordered the council to listen to his lawyer. With some hesitation, the council allowed Pappalardo to speak about why the mayor has paid him about $200,000 with funds issued from the mayor’s campaign.
Neither the mayor nor Pappalardo revealed why the mayor is continuing to pay Pappalardo’s firm, Greenberg and Traurig, fees amounting to $7,000-$10,000 a month for the past two years.
Councilor Fred Capone had the guts to ask the critical question of Pappalardo after listening to him describe the mayor as a model citizen who has neither been arrested, indicted or convicted of a crime.
Papparlardo said press coverage of the mayor was salacious and inappropriate and absolutely untrue.
He said the mayor consorting with the FBI to sign a proffer had done a wonderful thing.
He said those who talk to the FBI are telling the truth.
Those who refuse, are lying.
No one in their right mind who understands life in the city believes this around here.
When the FBI comes to your home to ask you questions, when the
FBI wiretaps your telephone, when some of your friends and associates are wearing electronic wires and transmitting what you say to one another, it is a sign of a bad storm.
This was the situation with the mayor before Papparlardo became his mouthpiece.
When you are forced to sign a proffer as the mayor did, as his attorney attested to, the mayor signed it because of what might happen if he didn’t.
In his case, it would appear he traded his right to remain silent with the FBI in return for him providing the FBI with information and for the FBI looking favorably upon him and even likely protecting him so he could be questioned from time to time again and again.
This is called being an informant for the FBI, despite the bombast from Pappalardo who insisted his client has not been and is not now an informant for the FBI.
In this city, in some quarters, when the FBI gets a grip on you and you talk to save your own skin, this is known as being a rat.
Councilor Wayne Matewsky, with whom I rarely disagree, complimented Papparlardo. He said he did a great job.
Pappalardo bullied people the same way his client the mayor bullies city employees and whomever doesn’t agree with him
On the contrary, Papparlardo appeared to speak with the wrath of God to councilors who could not possibly defend themselves against such a practiced legal assassin, much less to ask Pappalardo to answer the question about why the mayor is paying him.
He failed to answer the council’s question.
The mayor never spoke, except for shouting now and then against perceived enemies in front of a gasping public.
His bad behavior in the public forum is an embarrassment.
The question of why the mayor is paying so much to a noted criminal attorney from month to month to represent him when his attorney claims righteously that he is doing nothing wrong does not pass the common sense test.
We are no closer to knowing what the mayor is paying big monthly legal fees for a criminal lawyer to represent him than before the Monday night meeting began.
The truth is a terrible weapon of aggression.
That’s how Shakespeare put it.
The truth is the mayor got away with another travesty.
It only cost him about $4500 for Pappalardo and his assistant to grace us with their presence.
We hope they come again, soon.
Perhaps a few councilors will be prepared the next time around and the council will follow Parliamentary rules instead of allowing the mayor to break them.
Perhaps the next time around the council will not be bullied by the mayor’s mouthpiece, or the mayor himself.
The question remains: what’s he paying so much money for a criminal lawyer from his campaign account if he’s done nothing wrong?
Who pays a big tab for criminal lawyers every month without needing to do it?