Payment to Mayor Followed Threats Against Cornelio to Cut His Office Budget and To Ruin His Life
LEADER HERALD STAFF REPORT
Everett’s City Clerk Sergio Cornelio says Mayor Carlo DeMaria stole $96,000 from him as a result of Cornelio’s sale of a property at 43 Corey Street.
“When the mayor found out what I was going to receive from the sale of the property, he told me in no uncertain terms he wanted a piece of the action,” Cornelio revealed to the Leader Herald.
Cornelio told the Leader Herald he was badgered and bothered by the mayor for the payment to the point of it affecting his health and well-being.
“I gave up against the weight of his power over me and his threats to ruin me,” he told the Leader Herald.
Before the sale, Cornelio apparently met with two well-known local developers to measure their interest in buying the property from him.
“The mayor told one developer not to touch it if he wanted to do business with the city in the future.” He told the second developer, ‘This is my score. You are to have nothing to do with Corey Street. It is mine,’” according to Cornelio.
The recent sale and dispersal of funds took place several weeks ago.
Cornelio says conveyancing documents, including a copy of the $96,000 check – proceeds that went to the mayor – exist and prove the veracity of his allegations.
When all was said and done with the passing of papers on Corey Street, Cornelio received $96,000 less than he was supposed to with the mayor apparently leaving the table with $96,000 exactly.
Records in the Southern Middlesex Registry of Deeds reveal the property was recently sold for $1.3 million and all financing obligations have been repaid, including a “hard money” $250,000 loan from a Somerville businessman.
The new owner of the Corey Street property was allegedly brought into the deal by Mayor DeMaria.
Cornelio’s allegations about the mayor wanting in on his real estate investment stem from Cornelio’s purchase of the property for $900,000 in 2020.
There are two structures on the property which is in excess of 15,000 square feet of land.
Cornelio was hoping to receive city approval to construct 40 units of apartment housing for the site, which abuts the city’s footprint for redeveloping Everett Square.
Cornelio insisted those plans were dashed by the mayor.
“He told me nothing would be developed on the site if he didn’t receive the $96,000 payment. He also threatened to cut the city clerk’s office budget and place my future in jeopardy if I did not pay him,” Cornelio told the Leader Herald.
“The payment could draw the attention of the US attorney’s office in Boston and/or state and Middlesex County prosecutors,” said a local criminal attorney who wished to remain unnamed.
In, addition, Cornelio said the mayor had failed to make the proper legal filings with the State Ethics Commission about his involvement in the land sale and that he received $96,000 as a result.
“I bought the property. I carried the property paying everything for a year and a half until I was nearly broke. The mayor never contributed a dime,” he told the Leader Herald.
Efforts to identify a Corey Street LLC with the mayor’s name on it could not be found on record in the Secretary of State’s Office.
Cornelio indicated a second LLC had been written up to guarantee an interest to the mayor in the distribution of the proceeds.
He believes the LLC might not have been filed officially, but rather, was used to secure the mayor’s interest in the LLC so the payment could be facilitated to him through a check cut from the LLC account to another account the mayor controls for deposit or directly to the mayor by name.
“The mayor got paid. It cannot be hidden. The mayor got $96,000 of my funds and I want it back,” he said.
“The mayor’s behavior toward me was outrageous and illegal. I should not have been threatened by the mayor to make a payment to him for a real estate deal he had nothing to do with.”
The Leader Herald reached out to the mayor for comments about the $96,000 he apparently received at Cornelio’s expense.
The mayor did not respond to the Leader Herald’s request.