Fine & Discrimination

Leader Staff

The serenity of the Thanksgiving weekend was broken just a bit by two news reports in the Boston Globe.

Dependent upon who you are and where you stand in the Everett political morass, the twin Globe articles were either devastating or just more of the same, destined to have no impact on law enforcement officials than they have for the past five years.

The first report detailed how Greg Antonelli, the well- known supporter of the mayor and Everett’s chief public contractor made illegal donations to the DeMaria campaign – which have been returned in addition to a fine of $6,000 Antonelli paid to the Office for Campaign and Public Finance.

This was a short piece but a telling piece. It revealed that Antonelli and his relatives talked with or were interrogated by officials at OCPF who apparently investigated Antonelli’s checking accounts and those of his relatives, in order to make ultimate determinations that illegal contributions had been made.

Antonelli will likely laugh off the $6,000 fine. He is a very successful businessman for whom paying a $6,000 fine is an inconvenience somewhat like a mosquito bite.

However Antonelli’s payment of the fine indicates his aura of invincibility has been broken by law enforcement – if you want to consider OCPF a law enforcement agency.

An agency of the Massachusetts state government actually investigated Antonelli, et al, and found wrongdoing and caused him to be like all of us who disobey the law. That is, he was made to admit he did something illegal. He was made to pay a fine.

It is very likely the mayor wanted to enjoy his Thanksgiving weekend. His heart didn’t skip a beat about the Antonelli situation. He very likely knew what was going on so the effect of the Globe article was discounted, the way Wall Street investment traders discount news of higher interest rates having an impact on the stock

market before they are made. Then again, maybe Antonelli never said a word to the mayor about this situation. Maybe these two great friends and associates didn’t speak with one another about it.

The mayor probably yawned about this Globe piece.

Then again, we have no insight as to how the mayor reacted to the piece.

The second Globe piece announcing yet another racism and discrimination complaint against the mayor and the school committee was not as easily dismissed by the mayor, if it was dismissed at all. Whether or not the school committee members read the piece is another matter for a different discussion.

The second Globe piece during the Thanksgiving weekend was expansive and detailed.

It must have wearied the mayor to read it.

It’s timing couldn’t have been worse.

US Attorney Rachael Rollins is now conducting an investigation into racism and discrimination in Everett for the past five years.

We wonder if she read the Globe piece, and if she did, what might she have thought about it?

The full extent of that ongoing investigation came to light as a surprise last week when the city’s attorney from Greenberg Traurig (no one in city government knew the city had hired an attorney) showed up at a city council meeting to ask the city for $500,000 to pay the first batch of legal bills for the investigation.

A second bill is apparently on the way for what is very likely to be one of the most expensive lawsuits heaped upon the city by a law enforcement agency.

The mayor and the school committee have again been charged with racism and a host of other issues all believed to be part of a concerted effort to get rid of Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani – a woman of color.

This time, one of Tahiliani’s chief administrators, Kim Tsai, also a woman of color, filed a detailed complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

This second Globe piece must have been harder for the mayor to digest.

Maybe he shouldn’t have voted against extending Tahiliani’s contract discussions as he did last week.

He voted against a woman of color. Now a second woman of color has lodged another complaint against the mayor.

We wonder what, if anything, the mayor’s outside counsel suggest he should do.

Outside counsel is mindful that it is the mayor who is paying them. He doesn’t want to hear about giving up or changing a vote, or giving the impression that he cares anything about race or color in the instance of Tahiliani and or Tsai from his counsel.

The mayor wants to win. That’s his DNA.

He’s been pretty good at getting his way consistently, all the time since being elected in 2007.

However, something changed this weekend.

The mayor doesn’t look so invincible as the new week came to pass.

Maybe he’s thinking about this. Maybe not.

New discrimination lawsuits and Federal investigations about racism in Everett free of political influence are bound to have an effect.

Nothing lasts forever.

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