“The city lost a big case. Mayor has paid Bill Weld more than 2 million since 2017, and the beast goes on” – The Blue Suit
By JOSH RESNEK
Just when I thought the mayor’s Blue Suit could not be more honest or informative, I got a call over the weekend.
The mayor was away on vacation in West Yarmouth – on the beach – following his layoffs and reductions of salaries to dozens of city employees. I guess he needed a rest, a well-deserved one at that, after accepting a $14,000 raise in his salary for himself. That’s Carlo DeMaria in all his transparency and faux glory – heading down to the beach on the Cape after laying people off and financing the trip with his $14,000 raise, which he should have refused to take.
Anyway, the Blue Suit called me as soon as the mayor left for the Cape.
“Thank God he’s gone away. I can’t stand it anymore when he puts me on, when he sweats, when drops food on my pants, when he drops himself onto a chair almost smothering me. You have no idea how bad it is when he’s wearing me around,” the Blue Suit told me.
“Josh, listen to me. I’ve got quite a bit to tell you. I heard the mayor talking on his cell the other day to someone familiar with the city’s ongoing case with Exelon,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“It went like this. He was talking about former governor Bill Weld, who has represented the city on two fronts at the same time for many years…’Resnek missed the Superior Court decision last January. The judge threw out the case Weld made for the city that Exelon should be paying more money in taxes every year than what they negotiated for more than 20 years ago when they got a TIF. Hell, I’ve paid Weld almost $2 million so far to litigate this case for the city. He told me we’d win big. We won nothing. His law firm was the big winner. Can you believe I didn’t get so much as a bottle of whiskey, some chips from the casino or a Cuban cigar from those guys? I paid Mintz Levin something like $2 million – and what’s worse, I’m still paying Weld and his gang over there for the appeal. God knows what the final bill will be when everything is added up. If we don’t win on appeal, the city’s finances are cooked,’ I heard him say,” the mayor’s Blue Suit told me.
“He complained bitterly about giving Weld and Mintz Levin all that money in fees and getting nothing for himself. He was bitter about that. He said it was only a matter of time before you found out about all the money the city has been paying out in this losing battle,” I heard him say.
“Resnek will make it look as though I’m an idiot and that the city is being bilked…and I hate to say it, but he’d be right on both counts.”
The Blue Suit said the mayor’s statement calling himself an idiot was an unusual act of self-deprecation and hubris for a morally corrupt leader who reveals all the tendencies of a Donald Trump.
“He thinks he’s smarter than everyone around him. He thinks he’s smarter than the lawyers ripping him off. He’s out of his water with the lawyers and the outrageous fees the city is being charged to hide his incompetence with financial matters,” the Blue Suit said.
“Denied. Denied. Denied,” the mayor shouted again and again on his cell.
“The court threw out Weld’s motions. The court denied all of them. What the hell am I paying him for!” he shouted angrily. “Weld has lost his fastball. Since getting the casino license, he’s gone down the drain with us. Too much whiskey on the rocks, I guess. He ought to try marijuana. That won’t hurt his liver. Funny how Weld never forgets to send in a bill,” he said, the Blue Suit told me.
“What is the deal with Exelon? Where is this heading? What is it all about?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“The mayor was trying to bilk Exelon by hiring Weld to undo the TIF agreement entered into 20 years ago. That agreement has run out. It ran out at the beginning of July. Exelon pays the city $15 million a year in taxes – and the money is paid when due every time like clockwork. This isn’t like Encore not paying the in lieu of tax payment and owing the city something like $13 million right now.”
“What was the mayor trying to achieve?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“The mayor was trying to have the court rule that Exelon should be paying a lot more in taxes to the city then what the city bargained for when the TIF was given out. Weld tried to make the point that the issue is what the property was worth at the time the TIF was given out, and how much more it is worth today, and if the court ruled in the city’s favor, Exelon’s tax bill would go up the way the numbers of the Coronavirus infections are shooting upward in the Sun Belt,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“Nice metaphor,” I told him.
“Thanks Josh. Kind of you to notice how smart I am about metaphors. I am really good at alliteration, too!”
“Don’t get too carried away about how smart you are. After all, look who’s wearing you down and out,” I answered.
“Let’s not go there,” he said. “Let me enjoy myself while he’s down the cape doing whatever he does to spend whatever money he has or more likely, to accept whatever freebee’s he can put together which he is famous for doing.”
“DENIED, is what the judge ruled against the city’s case. Exelon was the clear winner.”
“Now what?” I asked him.
“The city’s assessors office is now putting together a package that will be presented to Exelon in order to come to an agreement for more tax money coming from the company to the city each year. But here’s the problem. Exelon is going to shut down the old part of the power plant along the Mystic River in 2024 no matter what. That will end the major tax payment every year to the city. No matter what comes of this “appeal” Exelon wins and the city loses. If the city tries to charge Exelon too much more in taxes, a court could rule, as it ruled many years ago, that the city overcharged Exelon. The mayor is in a fix over this. He knows it. I heard him complain about it. It is potentially a game changer for the city’s finances. Given the struggle the casino is facing, this battle with Exelon is like throwing good money at a bad deal,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“By 2024, the old plant will be closed. The big tax payment to the city will be at an end, and what remains? Seventy-two acres of waterfront land that can be developed but not anytime soon and developed as what?”
“Good question, isn’t it, Josh”
“You’re right about that.”
“In the meantime, the city keeps paying Weld’s outrageous attorney’s fees and is depending on him to bring home the bacon as he did with the casino license. You know, I heard the mayor say that Weld got a $25 million success fee for scamming the casino license for Steve Wynn. Is that possible?” the Blue Suit asked.
“This is Boston, my man,” I said to the Blue Suit.
“Anything is possible, and with Bill Weld, everything can be made to happen.”