Racism probe continues; billing continues; when does it stop?

By Josh Resnek

The city is right now into the federal probe into racism and discrimination here in the amount of $850,000.

Without an add up and a public accounting of the billings to date, it is impossible to know how much more in legal hours billed the city owes to Greenberg Traurig.

The resignation of US Attorney Rachel Rollins is not expected to sink the probe nor is it expected to accelerate the probe.

Exactly what happens now in Rollins’ absence is what will ultimately matter to Everett and to whomever the Justice Department civil rights team of lawyers working on this case are looking at – if anyone.

The new acting US Attorney Joshua Levy is now the man in charge. He has been named the acting US Attorney replacing Rollins who has gone into a rather disgraceful sunset.

Levy has been both a prosecutor and a plaintiff’s attorney over a three decade career.

He was a lawyer for the noted Boston law firm Ropes and Gray.

He had been working for Rollins for almost 2 years.

A report in Monday’s Boston Globe described Levy as “empathic.”

A nearly complete media blackout continues as this probe expands of contracts.

Continue reading “Racism probe continues; billing continues; when does it stop?”

Mayor Carlo DerMaria sued in federal court by school superintendent Tahiliani

Everett High School students rally for Priya Tahilianiin front of Everett City Hall two weeks ago.(Photo by Joe Resnek)

Allegations of racism, sexism, retaliation

By Leader Staff

A breaking Boston Globe story Tuesday morning revealed that Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani has filed a law suit in Federal District Court accusing the mayor and several school committee members of racism and discrimination after they voted two weeks ago not to renew her contract.

Her contract expires in 2024.

Tahliani and Kim Tsai, a deputy superintendent, accused the mayor and the School Committee of “blatant and overt acts of discrimination and retaliation” because they are women of color, because Tahiliani hired administrators who are non-white, and because the two administrators were participating in a Department of Justice inquiry into Everett’s discriminatory practices, the Boston Globe reported.

The Globe reported that once Tahiliani and Tsai began participating in the federal probe, the lawsuit alleges, DeMaria had secret cameras installed in the superintendent’s office.

“The FBI removed those and is currently investigating that unlawful wiretapping activity,” according to the lawsuit, as reported in the Globe.

The lawsuit in federal district court is a successor to similar complaints Tahiliani and Tsai previously filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. The lawsuit asks for an undetermined amount in damages and for the defendants to be ordered to cease and desist, the Globe reported.

Continue reading “Mayor Carlo DerMaria sued in federal court by school superintendent Tahiliani”


Everett High School students protest Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani’s failure to secure an extension to her contract Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Joe Resnek)

By Josh Resnek

A large and orderly crowd of Everett High School students left their classes early and marched down Broadway, ending up in front of Everett City Hall Thursday afternoon.

They held signs denouncing the mayor in support of School Superintendent Priya Tahiliani while at the same time chanting slogans.

“Keep Priya. Get rid of the mayor,” the EHS students shouted in unison.

The protest revealed the outrage and the disappointment of largely Black, Brown and Hispanic students who supported Tahiliani in her bid to gain an extension to her contract.

Earlier in the week following a School Committee hearing, Tahiliani lost her bid for a contract extension by a 6-4 vote.

All six who voted against her, including the mayor, are white.

Tahiliani is the first superintendent of color in EPS history.


A Blatant Example of Racism and Discrimination

The efforts by the administration and its mouthpieces on the School Committee to deny Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani an extension of her contract reeks of racism and discrimination.

At a time when the city has just had to ante up $500,000 for legal fees regarding the US Attorney’s investigation into racism and discrimination in Everett for the past five years, it seems so out of the orbit of good government to be playing games with the superintendent’s contract extension.

A vote taken at Monday evening’s School Committee to allow a discussion about the possible extension does little to change the deal.

Does anyone in government, or at least the four members of the School Committee who voted against the Monday measure feel that maybe, just maybe, the US Attorney’s office is watching such shenanigans?

We don’t think so.

Yet it is impossible to properly convey the feeling that the administration’s anti-Tahiliani stance is part and parcel of the racist tendencies of this administration and of its followers on the School Committee.

Continue reading A Blatant Example of Racism and Discrimination



By Josh Resnek

Signage on Everett City Hall. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

The city council appropriated $500,000 last week for lawyer’s fees already generated by the law firm Greenberg Traurig to defend the city against a racism investigation announced five months ago by the US Attorney’s office that is ongoing.

Greenberg Traurig is the same law firm representing the mayor for the past several years.

Assistant City Solicitor Keith Slattery and the city’s outside counsel, Greenberg Traurig Attorney Linda Ricci, both appeared before the city council to inform the city of the outstanding bill that needed to be paid, with the admonition that another bill can be expected and soon.

“The investigation is very broad in scope. It goes back five years. It covers the whole city of Everett. The stakes are

very high. This is a very significant investigation,” Ricci told the council.

She said no law suit had yet been filed. She said her primary role in defending the city in this government investigation is to avoid a civil lawsuit being filed.

“Everyone – the mayor, the city council, everyone is part of this investigation,” she said.

Ricci indicated at least seven government attorneys, including three from the Department of Justice, are involved in the investigation being conducted by the Federal Justice Civil Rights Division.