Mayor Misses Five SC Meetings, Absent from Council; Where Is He Hiding and Why?
By Josh Resnek
Mayor Carlo DeMaria is facing a mountain of accusations, court challenges and law suits on what appears to be an expanding front as he enters the fourth month of the New Year.
In recent weeks, his leadership has been challenged by a growing group of vocal and angry protestors whose rising voices represent a major impediment to his ability to lead.
His cousin and campaign manager Councilor Anthony DiPierro’s racist memes and Internet messaging, replete with the use of the N-word repeatedly has caused outrage and chaos at recent council meetings.
DiPierro’s refusal to resign is not helping the mayor.
In a shocking new development this week, the NAACP has asked DiPierro to resign immediately.
Not helping either is the mayor’s media chief’s involvement in the mess.
Deanna Deveney is one of a number of DiPierro’s colleagues included on his racist Internet messaging threads.
Deveney is said to be worried the mayor is going to fire her.
The mayor is supposedly conducting an investigation into the incidents.
At the same time, the mayor was revealed to have written racist, threatening and derogatory Internet messages to several colleagues.
Also impacting the mayor is Priya Tahiliani’s complaint against him alleging racism and sexism which she filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
For quite some time, the mayor has expressed the desire to rid Everett of Tahiliani and has complained bitterly that she has hired Black people and people of color to high administrative posts. Video cameras hidden in the ceiling of Tahiliani’s office removed by the FBI in February are apparently now being investigated as to their origin.
The mayor has not yet been implicated in the placement of the cameras. It is believed they might have been installed and monitored under his watch or with his acquiescence. The investigation is expected to shed light on the hidden cameras and their origin.
In addition, the mayor’s refusal to accept the yearly $40,000 longevity payment this year that he has received for the past five years is believed to be a sure sign that accepting the payment would have been illegal, according to those close to that investigation.
The city council last week determined that an outside counsel should be hired to address re- payment of approximately $180,000 the mayor has received when that amount should have been closer to $10,000.
The outside counsel would also investigate and report on how it came to pass that City Solicitor Colleen Mejia and CFO Eric Demas manipulated the system to allow for the $40,000 yearly longevity payment when it should have been $2,500.
Several lawyers believe repayment of the money by the mayor is not sufficient to compensate for the alleged theft of the money which attorney and former councilor Fred Capone has called a fraud. The FBI is also believed to be examining the improper payment of the money.
The Leader Herald has reported the longevity funds were hidden in the budget, distributed to the mayor as reimbursement for vacation and sick days, and paid out of a Human Resources account.
Two weeks ago, the council stripped the mayor of the $2,500 a year payment that he was due. In fact, that amount was reduced to $1,700.
The mayor is said to be bitter about that loss of income.
A lawsuit the mayor filed against City Clerk Sergio Cornelio before the November election is winding its way through Superior Court.
Cornelio alleges the mayor forced him to pay him $97,000 in a real estate deal gone bad at 43 Corey Street.
The mayor alleges he was Cornelio’s partner and that he has other real estate deals with developers. All of these assertions remain to be proven in court.
There is also the renewed questioning and investigation about three basketball stanchions donated to the city by Catrholic Memorial High School for the use of the children of Everett.
This follows the Leader Herald receiving text threads shared by the mayor with two longtime associates discussing the basketball stanchions and what to say and do about them if questions arose.
Those stanchions, valued at about $30,000 ended up in the mayor’s front yard and at a friend’s home in a community North of Boston.
One was subsequently removed from the mayor’s front driveway area when the Leader Herald revealed they were donated and considered charitable contributions by Catholic Memorial.
A review last week of the mayor’s political contributions and expenditures indicates he has spent about $50,000 to prosecute the Cornelio suit alone.
That does not include lawyer’s fees for February.
His supporters are rallying around him.
There will be a fundraiser held at the Encore Boston Harbor on April 14.
Contributions of $100, $250, $500, and $1000 are being solicited.