“The mayor is spooked. He reminds me a bit of a guy in a room with the walls and ceiling closing in on him.”– The mayor’s Blue Suit talking with Josh Resnek
By JOSH RESNEK
The mayor scored his worst showing in 14 years last week. He knows it wasn’t a good showing. It worries him. On the other hand, he came in first, and that allowed him to sigh a big breath of relief.
I picked up the mayor’s Blue Suit Tuesday afternoon on Elm Street.
He stepped into my Honda Fit.
He was a bit jaunty and ebullient.
He was smiling and finishing off a Milky Way candy bar. He smacked his lips with the last bite.
“Boy, that was good,” he said.
“What’s got you going today? I can sense you’re feeling pretty good,” I asked him.
He started in on my car as usual.
“When are you going to get rid of this piece of aging junk?
Carlo drives a Mercedes. It isn’t his but at least it’s a Mercedes,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“I’m not Carlo,” I answered.
“That’s for sure,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“What the hell do you mean by that?” I asked the Blue Suit. “Just what I said. There’s only one Carlo,” he added emphatically.
He took in a breath. He exhaled.
“That story about the mayor bilking the city clerk for $96,000 really stung the mayor. I’d say it was a bad move for him given the negative response he’s gotten. What’s worse is the mayor now wishing for Sergio and his mother to be ruined. I know Sergio. He’s a good kid. He’s popular. The mayor is now busy beating him over the head – not literally – but figuratively. He’d like to ruin his life,” the Blue Suit said.
“I know that. It isn’t easy to face up to the mayor’s gang of paid lapdogs when the mayor is looking for blood. Nevertheless, the mayor’s response to others that Sergio somehow robbed him is an unbelievable twisting of the facts,” I said.
“What do you mean?” the Blue Suit asked.
“The mayor has shown his greed and his hate for someone for the longest time was part of his team. Believe me, Sergio has $96,000 reasons to be bitter and angry at the mayor. Ser- gio didn’t steal anything from anyone. He’s not a thief.”
“Yeah. Yeah,” the Blue Suit said. “I get the feeling from what I’ve heard that nothing good is going to come of this for the mayor. He’s worried. Believe me, I know. He should be worried,” added the Blue Suit.
The Blue Suit lit up a Marlboro.
“Put your window down, please,” I complained.
He rolled down the window.
“Can’t you get a car with electric windows?
“This is ridiculous,” he said.
As we passed the police station the Blue Suit turned to me. “You know the mayor took a pile of money from the government apparently to save his business during the pandemic.”
“Oh really? How much do you know he took?”
“Did he give it back to the employees as the law required?” I asked.
“What do you think, Josh?” he replied to me with raised eyebrows.
“His places were out of business before the pandemic so if he took the dough I don’t think it was legal,” he added.
“I heard him say to a friend that he was able to pocket something like $50,000 for himself. That’s a nice payday if you can get it,” the Blue Suit told me.
“Yes indeed,” I answered.
“So let’s see…the mayor makes about $189,000 with his city salary. He took
$96,000 from Sergio. Now you’re telling me he kept at least $50,000 of the government money that was supposed to go to employees. And there’s the $40,000 longevity payment that should only be $10,000 which he received. Add all that up. You know what it comes to?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“Not really,” he replied.
“$375,000!” I told him.
“That’s what the mayor has taken in that we know about this year so far. We could be off. Only a government audit of his business expenses could show how much of the $160,000 federal money he put in his pocket and how much went to his one remaining business and the employees. That would be a fun audit for the government to do, don’t you think?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“Josh, you of all people know, the mayor’s W-2 doesn’t tell the whole story about his income. Think about all the city contracts that were given out during the past ten months. Do you think he made anything from the vendors they were awarded to?”
I clammed right up.
“I’m not going there. You know better than I do all the mayor’s secrets, of what comes in from whom and when and for what. Tell me this, do you know how much cash he keeps in his safe at home inside the mansion?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“No one knows but him what he keeps in that safe. By the way, how do you know about the safe?” the Blue Suit wondered.
“C’mon. Everyone close with the mayor knows about the safe. You know that” I said to him.
The Blue Suit put out his cigarette. He tossed it out the window.
“He never has enough money. Carlo is always in search of more money. He’s manic about it when you get right down to it,” the Blue Suit added.
The Blue Suit switched subjects.
“I can tell you this…Carlo has paid close attention to what happened to the mayor of Fall River, Jasiel Correia… you know…he just got 6 years in prison on federal corruption charges,” he said to me.
“Oh yeah, what did Carlo have to say about that?” I asked. The Blue Suit squirmed a bit. He remained quiet.
“Cat got your tongue?” I asked.
“Carlo told me that he had done much worse things than the mayor of Fall River. You know what he said to me?”
“What?” I asked.
“Carlo said, ‘” I’ve done worse things and I’m free as a bird.
No one can touch me. I signed a deal with the US Attorney’s office to give them information. I’ll be the mayor forever.’”
“Carlo really said that?” I asked.
The Blue Suit nodded.
“Every word of it. And you know what, Josh, he meant it!”