Watching the Greater Boston casino licensing process is a little like watching sausage get made. There are lots of rules and regulations and plenty of lawyers involved, but everything still goes through the grinder.
The process has twisted Boston Mayor Marty Walsh into knots. Miffed that Wynn Resorts won’t pay Boston what he thinks the city deserves in mitigation funds, he filed suit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Monday. He is accusing the Gaming Commission of violating state law by allowing Steve Wynn to buy a polluted piece of property in Everett from a company in which a convicted felon allegedly had a hidden interest. Wynn said on Monday it had closed on the deal, paying $35 million for the property
“The Gaming Act prohibits a casino license application from advancing if a convicted felon has a financial interest in the premises on which the casino will be located,” says the city of Boston’s lawsuit.
But the Gaming Act isn’t quite that specific. The law effectively would bar a casino license application from advancing if a convicted felon “has a business association of any kind with a gaming licensee or applicant.”
Boston considers that twisted logic, but actually the commission has been fairly consistent. The commission was established to get casinos up and running in Massachusetts, and it takes that mission seriously. The commissioners have shown an uncanny knack of finding ways to keep a casino license application moving even if it means reading the rules in a creative fashion.
For example, the commission allowed Mohegan Sun to move its proposed casino from one part of Suffolk Downs to a separate section of the track in Revere when East Boston residents rejected the original location. Walsh went along with the Mohegan Sun move because Mohegan Sun agreed to pay the city $19 million a year in mitigation funds.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh sues the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, alleging the agency violated numerous laws in awarding a casino license to Wynn Resorts.
Acting Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn, appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick last Friday to take over for Sam Sutter who was elected Fall River mayor, is making a case to keep him the post. Incoming Gov. Charlie Baker can rescind the appointment because it was made within Patrick’s last 15 days.
Baker hires Linda Spears to run the Department of Children and Families. Spears, currently the executive vice president of the Child Welfare League of America, was brought in by Patrick to examine the troubled agency. TheEagle-Tribune profiles Francisco Urena, the Lawrence man who Baker selected as secretary of veteran affairs.
The Globe reports that a big pay raise for Beacon Hill leaders is on hold as House members balk at taking a vote on the pocket-lining proposal. It’s potentially bad pension news for Speaker Robert DeLeo.
Baker tells the Herald he wants to toughen immigration status checks when issuing state drivers licenses.
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, in her state of the city address, hails great progress on a number of fronts, the Salem News reports.
The Globe takes a look at Marty Walsh’s first year as Boston mayor, and concludes he’s done fine, but hasn’t yet done much, echoing the general talk about his slow pace out of the gate.
Billerica selectmen are unapologetic over an Open Meeting Law violation, the Sun reports. Another open meeting law tussle is underway in Pittsfield over a municipal health care contract, the Berkshire Eagle reports.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren sits down with representatives from Gateway Cities news outlets. The Eagle-Tribune reportsshe intends to keep fighting for lower student loan rates. MassLive’s report is similar. CommonWealth reports that Warren is chapped — yes, chapped — about America’s income inequality. Meanwhile, Warren was busy at events elsewhere around the state; the Boston Herald reports she is critical of Senate Republicans for pushing a Keystone Pipeline vote.
The Wall Street Journal dissects the latest (and likely doomed) conservative rebellion against House Speaker John Boehner.
Greater Boston begins a series aimed at rediscovering and redefining the middle class in Massachusetts.
Chris Dempsey and Liam Kerr, of No Boston Olympics, decry the closed-door process that has unfolded to date and argue in a Globe op-ed that Boston will win if it loses its bid for the 2024 Olympics. Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, offers a contrasting composition, extolling a new day of transparency that he says governs the Games. The New York Times asks its reporters in the four cities vying for the bid to offer a view from within.
A Miami company has won development rights for a parcel that extends over the Massachusetts Turnpike near the intersection of Boylston Street and Mass. Ave.
The Pentagon wants to begin using US made running shoes for military service personnel, and that could be good news for two Massachusetts firms.
The unbundling of cable continues, as Dish Network markets a small bundle of channels, including ESPN, for $20 a month, Time reports.
The Republican examines how the federal government defines poverty.
A Level 2 sex offender who had been teaching at Bridgewater State University and Massasoit Community College has lost both jobs after stories in the Brockton Enterprise shined a light on his past.
Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, in his midterm address, says a national effort is needed to address the alarming growth in opiate use.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says demolition of the crumbling Long Island Bridge will begin next month and said it will take three years to build the new one. But he promised to give Quincy “a seat at the table” when it comes time to decide the uses for the bridge and Moon Island, both of which are actually in the City of Presidents.
California Gov. Jerry Brown calls for half of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2030.
Jury selection begins in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.A Fall River man has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon after he allegedly threatened to kill former Mayor Will Flanagan with a pair of giant ceremonial scissors.
A Boston police officer arrested for allegedly assaulting an Uber driver while shouting racist epithets was on desk duty and working without a gun, following a November domestic violence incident. The Herald reports the officer “has a tumultuous personal life and a history of Internal Affairs complaints.”