New Video Comes to Light
By Josh Resnek
Mayor Carlo DeMaria has informed US Attorney Rachel Rollins that he will cooperate fully with the probe she has launched into allegations of racism, discrimination and retaliation in Everett at the highest level of government.
Rollins has demanded that city records concerning racism and discrimination be handed
over to her office by the first week in July. She insisted that the city refrain from altering the information she is seeking in any way.
She launched the probe following several months of protest and rancor.
And she noted that only 2% of the city’s workforce is Black, Brown and Hispanic people, while the city’s population is more than 60% minority.
Over the weekend, The Everett Reporter, a Facebook site, published a photograph of what it alleged to be a portion of a zoom video meeting showing the mayor, City Solicitor Colleen Mejia, Assistant City Solicitor Keith Slattery a former councilor and a blacked out photo of someone who could not be identified as well as a former Everett city employee.
According to the Everett Reporter, this was allegedly the same zoom session that featured former councilor Anthony DiPierro, the mayor’s former chief of communications, Attorney Deanna Deveney and assistant city solicitor Keith Slattery exchanging laughter and sharing racist talk which included Black people being described as “darkies.”
That zoom was authenticated and led to the resignations of DiPierro and Deveney, and what is believed to be the heightened interest of Rollins.
The Everett Reporter refrained from running the video with audio due to warnings received from lawyers claiming the video was obtained illegally and that the Everett Reporter or anyone who runs it, so the public can view it and listen to those participating, could face legal action.
The “darkies” video was run widely on the Internet on a number of Facebook sites with thousands of viewers watching it and listening to the conversations between Everett public officials before media outlets took it down from the Internet.
The zoom meeting and its nasty, racist essence, caused shock and outrage among many Everett residents who viewed the video.
Then came the stunning announcement by Attorney General Maura Healey on the Jim Braude and Marjory Egan Show that “DiPierro should resign.”
This led to Everett High school students organizing and leaving their classes early and marching en masse to city hall where they staged an anti-racism rally covered by Greater Boston major television, print and radio stations.
Everett High School is 80% non-white.
When lawyers representing Deveney sent out warnings to cease and desist running the video, they were taken down from the Internet – but the damage had been done.
The genie had been let out of the bottle.
The Boston Globe reported last Friday that the city’s chief equity officer Cathy Draines informed the mayor that if he didn’t do something, and soon, about the DiPierro/Deveney situation, that the city might be designated a “hostile work environment.”
This was weeks before DiPierro resigned and caused some observers to claim the mayor covered up the crisis to protect his cousin, DiPierro. In Rollin’s three page letter to the mayor announcing her probe, she made mention of the two month gap that existed between the mayor learning of DiPierro’s racist memes and Internet messaging using the N-word and how the mayor failed to take action.
All the while, DiPierro refused to budge.
For about two months, the mayor apparently insisted that DiPierro remain on the council and that he deserved to be given another chance.
Former councilor DiPierro has not passed into the Everett political twilight without trying to fight back.
He ran a full page paid message in a local shopper attacking city clerk Sergio Cornelio and urging his former colleagues to vote against Cornelio receiving a new contact.
The disgraced councilor asked his colleagues to “do the right thing.”
Cornelio’s contract is coming to an end. He is seeking to be reappointed city clerk.
Cornelio’s attorney told the Globe that if the council took such action it would be considered retaliation and there would be legal ramifications.
Cornelio is being sued by the mayor for defamation.
Cornelio asserts the mayor retaliated against him.
Their battle is over a real estate deal for a Corey Street property.
Cornelio’s reappointment was passed over Monday night.
At the urging of Councilor Stephanie Martins, the matter will be taken up at a future meeting in executive session.