The mayor’s threats are hollow

Last week, the mayor informed the city that he will no longer be paying his own legal bills.

He informed the city that because of what some people say about him as well as publish about him, he is now charging the city to have a former US Attorney A. John Pappalardo to read everything said about him and written about him locally that has somehow tarnished his reputation. We do not know if this includes the Boston Globe and Herald, who have both published exquisitely detailed news reports of his difficulties with sexual harassment and of the FBI’s investigation into municipal corruption in Everett which includes the land sale to Wynn Resorts.

He has threatened to have this attorney, at city cost, sue city officials and or the Leader Herald for defaming him, libeling him or casting aspersions on his style of leadership.

As a public figure, he should know better. His lawyer should know better as well. But at $750 an hour, Pappalardo very likely plans to be spending many hours of his valuable time furnishing the mayor with a proper road map for the success of his political future.

His real job, which the city will be paying for, is to protect the mayor from painfully honest assessments of his leader- ship skills and of his inability to control himself or to comport himself in private as he tends to do in public.

It would appear that Papparlardo’s efforts will center on First Amendment rights issues – that is – the right to say about the mayor whatever they want as long as it is not obscene or libelous.

Those who don’t care about the mayor or for his public trials and tribulations with sexual harassment charges and possible fraud activities as described and investigated in FBI wiretaps and grand jury documents as well as by individuals questioned by the FBI during a period spanning from 2012–2019, are horrified to learn that the city will be paying Pappalardo to act like a prosecutor once again.

Pappalardo would have to create a case where he proves the mayor has lost something as a result of things written or uttered by him, and this includes on social media.

Such a case would be expensive and time consuming, and more deadly to the city budget than to rehabilitating the mayor’s tarnished reputation.

The mayor’s tarnished reputation is something he achieved on his own.

No one is responsible for how the people think about the mayor than the mayor himself.

From the start, we have refused to be threatened by this mayor.

He has promised to put us out of business.

He makes a concerted public effort to stop advertisers from going into the Leader Herald.

He cannot stop our week to week examination of his administration, its excesses and inequities, its positives and negatives.

He can’t control us as he controls others willing to delude their First Amendment Rights in return for city funding.

If anyone is guilty of attempting to cause harm to a reputation, it is the mayor by his animus, often publicly expressed, for the Leader Herald.

It there is a libel going on, it is the mayor’s ongoing libeling of the Leader Herald, actions for which we pay for.

The mayor should think very carefully about suing anyone.

Considering his public meanderings and his public threats, his attorney should be advising him that suing others for libel or defamation is one thing.

Stopping those who are sued by him from describing in great detail his inadequacies will cost him more than he might ever gain during a trial.

His attorney should be telling him that.

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