The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts struck a major setback to the Boston casino lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) last week, calling the suit “vicious.”
The disclosure by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz came in a filing at Federal Court on the casino land deal case involving Charles Lightbody, Dustin DeNunzio and Anthony Gattineri – who had put in a successful motion two weeks ago to reveal Grand Jury evidence after hearing allegations within the Boston suit.
“Without a shred of evidence, and despite having been warned that the ‘alleged incident’ never happened, the defendants seized on a rumor spewed and spun by the City of Boston in a vicious civil lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (the MGC) and filed a Brady motion questioning the integrity of this criminal prosecution,” read the filing. “Had the defendants simply asked Joseph F. Flaherty and Stephen G. Matthews about the rumors, they would have learned that Flaherty and Matthews did not review any files at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in 2013. In fact, they reviewed documents at the AGO in March 2014 in a matter completely unrelated to this case, and they never had access to investigative files or any other materials at the AGO related to this case. Because there was no unauthorized access to files concerning the state or federal investigation of the defendants, the Court should deny the Motion.”
Wynn officials immediately responded that they saw the comments as a victory in what has been an attack on their company.
“We are not surprised that the statements made by the City of Boston about our company have been proven false, as we have always maintained,” said Michael Weaver, Senior Vice President of Communications for Wynn. “We hope the City will cease these efforts to stain our reputation.”
A spokesperson for Mayor Martin Walsh’s office said they “sharply disagree” with Ortiz’s statements in the filing about their case, saying they continue to protect the rights of Charlestown and do not believe the MGC followed protocol in giving Wynn the license.
The allegation came from Boston just before the July 4 weekend, when numerous subpoenas went out from the Boston legal team alleging that two former State Troopers – working as private investigators for Wynn – had gained illegal access to the “wire room” at the Attorney General’s Office in 2013. The purpose of that access, the allegation infers, was to learn about the ongoing state and federal investigation into Lightbody’s purported ownership of the Everett casino site.
The access was allegedly gained by former Troopers Stephen Matthews and Joseph Flaherty, both of whom work on private investigations in their retirement.
Ortiz also released sworn statements by Flaherty and Matthews taken on July 17 saying they had never been in the “wire room” and that the Boston allegations were totally false.
“I have done investigative work for Mintz Levin, on a number of clients including Wynn Resorts Limited (Wynn),” read Flaherty’s statement. “Between October 18, 2013 and November 13, 2013, after Wynn representatives had been notified by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau that Dustin DeNunzio, Anthony Gattineri and Charles Lightbody had tried to conceal Lightbody’s financial interest in a piece of land in Everett from Wynn, I performed approximately 12.5 hours of work for Mintz Levin on behalf of Wynn. I did not perform any work for Wynn at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office… I do not know where the ‘’wire room’ is at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.”
Matthew indicated that he has never worked for Wynn, and was actually doing work for Suffolk Downs in 2013.
“I have not been in a ‘wire room’ at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office since I retired from the Massachusetts State Police in July 2012,” he wrote. In fact, Ortiz said the only purpose of the motion was to get Grand Jury testimony of Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria and Mintz Levin Strategies President Stephen Tocco into the public record.
“The government further notes that the only real effect of the defendants’ frivolous Motion was to publically disclose grand jury transcripts produced pursuant to the Protective Order, which materials made their way to the City of Boston and the media within hours of the filing of the Motion,” she wrote. Boston’s lawsuit will go to a Suffolk Superior Court judge in late September.