Gaming Commission, Walsh square off over writing style
Agency says city's lawsuit is too long and 'unintelligible'
THE MASSACHUSETTS GAMING COMMISSION and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh are scheduled to square off in court on Thursday on what is in many respects is a writing dispute.
The Gaming Commission is asking a judge to throw out a sprawling lawsuit filed by Boston because the city’s filing fails to make “a short and plain statement of the claim” as required by the rules that govern civil cases.
The commission’s attorneys say Walsh’s complaint is 153 pages long, comes with 84 exhibits running more than 3,700 pages, and weighs nearly 10 pounds. “It is a conglomeration of allegations made unintelligible by its volume, morass of irrelevancies, lack of clarity, and its incorporation-by-reference information overload,” the commission’s six-page brief states.
The city’s attorneys say the Gaming Commission’s legal argument is a “red herring.” Nevertheless, they add in their brief that the Boston court filing is “written in simple, concise, and direct sentences….It is also highly organized and structured, setting forth detailed allegations supporting all 10 claims.”
Walsh filed his original 74-page complaint against the Gaming Commission in January and then expanded it dramatically in May. He alleges the commission awarded a license to Wynn Resorts to build a $1.7 billion casino in Everett through a “corrupt process,” which is then described in detail, often with bold, declarative statements about the hidden motivations of Wynn and Gaming Commission officials.For example, Boston’s court filing says Wynn knew ahead of time that two convicted felons had been owners of the land the casino developer eventually purchased in Everett, a charge Wynn denies. A couple paragraphs later, however, the legal brief suggests Wynn could have easily determined the ownership history of the land. “Wynn, however, chose to remain willfully blind about the true ownership,” the brief says.
The mayor’s motives in battling the Gaming Commission and Wynn are unclear. Aides say he has soured on gambling after voting for it earlier as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and no longer wants a casino in eastern Massachusetts. Yet at times he sounds like he is willing to negotiate some sort of financial deal with Wynn. On Tuesday, he met with Boston Globe editors and reporters and told them he would not relent until Charlestown residents are allowed to vote on whether they want the casino in Everett or not.