Should Councilor Lattanzi Recuse Himself On City Budget Vote

In Most Cities This Would Be a No Brainer; Not Here

By Josh Resnek

There are many instances of husbands and wives working for the city of Everett as their livelihood.

There are numerous examples of police officers who have wives who work for the police department.

There are couples who work for the city and for the fire department.

There is no conflict of interest to speak of in those situations.

In nearly all such circumstances, It is perfectly legal for a husband and wife to work for different city departments in Everett.

City councilors should be held to higher standard here but they aren’t.

A city councilor who does the mayor’s bidding whether right or wrong, owes a great deal of their financial well-being to the city of Everett.

Lattanzi is such a councilor.

He owes a great deal to the mayor, and to the mayor’s award winning city budget for providing for him and his family.

He also owes a great deal to City Solicitor Colleen Mejia.

She has shown a disinterest in studying, evaluating and ruling on conflict of interest issues, especially with regard to the mayor’s closest friends and allies.

Lattanzi’s connection to the city’s money trough is the stuff of bold and brazen bank robbery.

The Lattanzi family’s connections to distributions of taxpayer cash from the city treasury is the stuff of legend.

Mr. Lattanzi’s wife works directly for the mayor. Outside of her city hall responsibilities, she is one of the mayor’s chief money raisers – and mostly, we are led to understand – from other city employees.

She is believed to make about $70,000 a year from her city position.

The Lattanzi’s son – a Boston College Triple Eagle – and also a lawyer working for the city, receives about $90,000 a year.

There is nothing wrong with Mrs. Lattanzi and son, Matt, working for the city.

What is questionable is Councilor Lattanzi’s council pay, and the fact his hardware store which he runs, does business with the city. It is a private business. The assumption is that the hardware store does and has done over the years, tens of thousands of dollars of business with the city sent to him by the mayor.

In addition, Lattanzi’s hardware store did thousands of dollars of business with the Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel and again, this was because of his relationship with the mayor.

So here’s the deal with the Lattanzi’s.

There is nothing wrong with all of the Lattanzi’s reaping their rewards of friendship with the mayor that amounts to something like $200,000 a year.

What is wrong?

Councilor Lattanzi should not be voting on the city budget. His vote to approve the city budget is a direct, and we believe, a bonafide instance of conflict of interest.

We wonder if Councilor Lattanzi has completed mandatory biennial conflict of interest training as required by the State Ethics Commission?

Does he think it is proper, under the state’s Conflict of Interest Law, for him to vote on certain matters – including the City Budget, when your family has a direct and pecuniary interest in that budget – I am referring to the fact that his wife works in the Mayor’s Office and his son is employed by the city?

I wonder, does his business still have purchase orders to sell hardware and other supplies to the City of Everett, which may be a violation of the State’s Conflict of Interest Law?

Does his business still sell hardware and other supplies to Encore Boston Harbor, a business entity over which he, as a city councilor, may have some oversight authority?

Last but not least, Lattanzi should ask himself this: What steps have you taken to avoid violating the conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety?

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