The mayor is refusing to shed light on his involvement in an apparent scheme to divert a donation made to the city by Catholic Memorial High School of three professional grade basketball nets and stanchions worth tens of thousands of dollars to himself and a friend.
The mayor received one of the nets. It was delivered to his front driveway. A friend living in another town received two. They were placed in front of his home.
As usual, the mayor is telling friends and anyone who will listen “not to believe what you read in the newspaper.”
In this instance, we believe that is bad advice, short of the mayor explaining how the basketball net ended up in his driveway when the net was donated by a Catholic Memorial High school official to the city of Everett.
The mayor may believe he owns the city and the city treasury.
He does not, however, cannot take for himself and for his own use expensive gifts given to the city. For that matter, ethics regulations would not allow him to receive gifts of any kind over the price of $50 in value.
The appearance of the basketball net in the mayor’s driveway is made worse by the Electrical Department two Fridays ago installing lighting on a city pole to shine upon the basket for nighttime use.
As we understand it from the source of the donation at Catholic Memorial High School, the three baskets were handed over to city employee Jerry Navarro. Navarro allegedly knew exactly what to do with the donation, which was to have them delivered to the mayor’s driveway and the driveway of the mayor’s friend.
Navarro handled this, again, according to the Catholic Memorial High School official.
Maybe Navarro did not hear the Catholic Memorial official clearly.
Perhaps he thought that the Catholic Memorial official had said that the nets were a donation for the mayor and his friend, made at no charge.
If this was the case, the mayor and Navarro committed ethics violations in accepting the nets and giving them away instead of putting them to use as city property for the pleasure of the children of Everett.
The mayor’s continued silence is a sure sign that he’s trying to figure out who can be thrown under the bus to take the blame for this obvious ethics violation – which is more a crime against the kids of Everett than an ethical lapse.
In reality, it is both.
Maybe the mayor can persuade the Catholic Memorial official that it was all just a mistake made by Navarro and not by him.
The only problem there is that Navarro does not do much free thinking. He does exclusively as he is told by the mayor.
Also, we very much doubt the Catholic Memorial official who donated the nets would retract the donation and say it was not a donation but a gift to the mayor and his friend to protect those who appear to have stolen them.
The mayor needs to reveal or to apologize, or both, how a substantial donation from Catholic Memorial High School to the city became a present for him and his friend.
What kind of man would do such a thing?