Saturday, June 25, 2022

Boston says Wynn representatives knew of mob ties to land

Recently discovered interviews with at least five people suggest Wynn Resorts knew a mob associate with felony convictions would profit from his stake in the waterfront land where the Las Vegas casino company plans to build a resort, the city of Boston said in recent court filings, according to the Associated Press.

Boston, which is suing the state Gaming Commission over its decision to award Wynn a gambling license, says the witnesses told commission investigators that Wynn representatives were informed of, or discussed Charles Lightbody's ownership stake before signing an option on roughly 30 acres on the Everett waterfront across from Boston.

The city argues that existence of the testimony casts further doubts over the commission's vetting of the Wynn application.

One interview centers on a conversation between Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria and Stephen Tocco, a former state secretary of economic affairs working as a political consultant for Wynn.

Tocco told gambling investigators he had mentioned to the mayor that a reporter was inquiring about the Everett land. He then reminded DeMaria that Wynn would not move forward with the deal if there was anyone with a criminal background involved. The mayor, in response, asked specifically if the reporter was asking about Lightbody, Tocco testified.

"A fair and reasonable inference to be drawn from Tocco's testimony is that Mayor DeMaria knew that Lightbody was an owner of the former Monsanto Chemical Site and a convicted felon, which he communicated directly to Tocco, a long-term, authorized representative of Wynn," the city argues in the legal brief.

But Tocco said Monday it's clear from his testimony he didn't pass on any mention of Lightbody to Wynn officials after his brief conversation with DeMaria because the name didn't ring any bells.

"I never heard of Lightbody and I certainly never had any discussions with Wynn or anybody else about Lightbody," he said. "I didn't pursue it because I didn't know who the names were, anyway. I wasn't involved in the land stuff."

 Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver maintains the company first learned about Lightbody's ties to the property from the gaming commission investigation. The commission and DeMaria didn't comment Monday.

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