Kraft to lawyers: Do your job

When it comes to his involvement with the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, it looks like Robert Kraft is going to get off again.

With the best legal defense money can buy, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots brought a sledgehammer to the pesky fly that was the local state prosecutors’ operation and got a Florida judge to throw out use of any video surveillance recordings in the misdemeanor case against him for soliciting the services of a prostitute. Most legal observers say the ruling all but kills the case against Kraft.

But before he spikes the ball in the end zone, Kraft must still face a reckoning for his deeds, even if it’s not inside a courtroom. To glance at Boston’s two daily papers this morning is to understand there are two parallel universes where that judgment awaits.

Globe columnist Adrian Walker focuses on the court of public opinion. “If Kraft really wants his reputation back, he has work to do,” he writes. “He should deliver a full-throated apology for participating, however unwittingly, in exploitation.” Walker goes on to say Kraft should throw himself and his checkbook at the work he’s done to combat human trafficking. “He should display genuine public remorse,” he says.

Walker acknowledges that not everyone is waiting for a demonstration of true contrition. “Most Patriots fans don’t seem to care what Kraft did or didn’t do, which is a bit sad,” he writes.

It’s hard to know whether to put Herald sports writer Karen Guregian in that camp or not.

She zeroes in on the judgment that awaits Kraft at the hands of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has vowed to make a determination of what the league might do once all the dust settles, with a criminal conviction not necessary to hand out a tough fine or suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. But by framing the issue as simply the next chapter in the long-running grudge match between Goodell and Kraft that includes the famous “deflategate” controversy, Guregian doesn’t exactly vouch for the integrity of whatever ruling awaits the Patriots owner.

“It’s hard to believe Kraft will walk away from Roger Goodell’s kangaroo court totally unscathed,” she writes, suggesting something short of blind justice is in store for the team owner.

If a suspension is in the mix and Kraft is banned from the team’s home opener — and raising of the Pats’ sixth Super Bowl champion banner — Guregian imagines the team bringing Kraft to the festivities from his home by showing him on big video screens at either end zone. That would set off whoops and hollers at Gillette Stadium that make the reception Kraft got when he showed up at Celtics game last month sound like golf clap.

Still, Guregian lays out the curious challenge facing Kraft to try to close this unwelcome chapter in his championship story. He “categorically” denied taking part in any illegal activity. Yet he also issued a vague apology. “I am truly sorry,” Kraft said in a statement in March. “I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard.”

Kraft never says how he failed to meet that higher standard. Of course, no one thinks the blitz play to keep the surveillance video out of court was driven by vanity over the idea it might show a 77-year-old’s spare tire while getting a back rub.

Given all the loops of logic in the statements, it’s hard to to say exactly what kind of pass pattern Kraft and his team of PR handlers and legal eagles are running. But so far, at least, they’ve outfoxed the enemy. Which is, after all, The Patriot Way.



Beacon Hill’s high-stakes housing debate centers around how much control locals should be given over new housing projects in their communities. (CommonWealth)

The Baker administration vows major reforms of the state’s troubled foster care system. (Boston Globe)

Mary Booth of the Partnership for Policy Integrity says another battle is brewing, this time prompted by moves by the Baker administration, over whether burning wood is an eco-friendly way to produce electricity. (CommonWealth)

UMass President Marty Meehan confers with Senate President Karen Spilka on a Senate budget provision that would freeze tuition and fee rates and afterwards says “we’ll work it out.” (State House News)

More questions are raised about how deep the overtime corruption scandal goes at the State Police, as it’s revealed that the department destroyed key records in 2014 that were under scrutiny at the time. (Boston Globe)


Veteran civic players Steve Crosby, George Bachrach, and Ira Jackson are launching a project aimed at promoting more diversity in local leadership positions. (Boston Globe)

Even though he said he would resign from the city council once a vote had been taken on a loan for a new high school, now that the loan vote passed unanimously it looks like state Sen. Edward Kennedy wants to finish out his term in city government. (Lowell Sun)

The Fall River Community Preservation Committee has allocated more than $1.8 million in project funds for fiscal year 2020 in the areas of historic preservation, open space and community housing. (Herald News)


Seeking to set up a challenge to Roe v. Wade before the US Supreme Court, the Alabama senate voted 25-6 to make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion. The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Kay Ivey. (

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to tax wealth would run into some expensive subtleties among art collectors who sometimes aren’t 100 percent sure of the provenance of their paintings, writes Anthony Amore, the author of Stealing Rembrandts and the 2018 Republican nominee for secretary of state. (WBUR)

San Francisco becomes the first city in the nation to ban the use of facial recognition technology by municipal agencies. (Wired)

William Shuttleworth, a 71-year-old who worked as a US Air Force psychologist during the Vietnam War, plans to walk from his home in Newburyport to California to raise awareness of veterans’ homelessness and funding for the Disabled American Veterans Association. (WGBH)

Barbara Morton, a Rockport native who now lives in Washington, DC, will be honored at the White House next week for her work as the deputy chief veterans experience officer in the Veterans Administration. (Gloucester Daily Times)


Easthampton officials set in motion the process to extend the mayor’s term from two to four years and launched ranked-choice voting for municipal elections. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

About half of Bay State adults have a favorable opinion of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and half have an unfavorable opinion of her, and respondents to a MassINC Polling Group survey were also split on whether President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office. (WBUR)

Warren parts with some of her fellow Democratic candidates and says she won’t take part in a televised town hall on Fox News, saying she does not want to help give legitimacy to “a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.” (Boston Globe)

Addressing an issue that may dog him on the campaign trail, Joe Biden addresses his role in passing the 1994 federal crime bill and minimizes its contribution to the steep runup in incarceration rates across the country, which he says were overwhelmingly driven by state laws. (Boston Globe)


The hiring spree at Wynn’s Everett casino, which aims to fill 5,500 positions, is bleeding area restaurants and hotels of workers amidst a tight labor market. (Boston Globe)

A startup called PassivDom has developed tiny houses in which residents can live entirely off the grid. (Fast Company)


MassLive tells the fascinating story of Mill No. 5 in Lowell, an eclectic streetscape inside a mill building.

The PBS series Arthur launched its 22d season by revealing that the teacher, Mr. Ratburn, is getting married to a man. (MassLive)


Providence is experimenting with an autonomous six-seat electric vehicle known as “Little Roady” that will run from the local MBTA and Amtrak train station along a five-mile loop, making it the longest public transit use of self-driving vehicles in the country. (WGBH)


State Sen. Julian Cyr of Truro has filed legislation to establish a task force aiming to address the increased detection of PFAS contamination in the state, including several sites on Cape Cod. The chemicals are found in firefighting foam, carpets, and many household items. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has identified 14 public water supplies where PFAS has been detected, with four located in Cyr’s Cape & Islands District. (Cape Cod Times)


Three former Massachusetts judges criticize the federal charging of a Newton District Court judge, saying any infractions she may have committed could be addressed by “admonition and training” or sanctions from the Commission on Judicial Conduct. (Boston Globe)

Mathew Borges was convicted of first degree murder for killing and beheading a Lawrence classmate when he was a 15-year-old. (Eagle-Tribune)

Pallavi Macharla, who was a Burlington daycare operator, was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole after a jury found her guilty of murdering a 6-month-old in her care. (Lowell Sun)

Paul Rosen, a Peabody man, copped to charges that he sexually assaulted two homeless women he had offered shelter to in a camper.He will avoid jail time and will see the charges dropped if he stays out of trouble for a year and a half. (Salem News)