Saturday, January 19, 2008

Where's Da Money?...

Well truth be told, the money is probably lost somewhere in a sub prime mortgage that was defaulted on Las Vegas or elsewhere.

Both the Boston Globe and the Republican have reported that FCB Executive Director Stephen Lisauskas has personal ties to one of Merrill Lynch's employees, hence the transactions' path through Albany and not the investment firm's Springfield office.

Although the Globe independently confirmed the relationship Lisauskas had with Merrill Lynch employees, the main basis of its article were statements by City Councilor Jimmy Ferrera. His spotlighting of the issue is appropriate, but as legal experts have advised, may be counter-productive to city's possible lawsuit.

Ferrera, although a disciple of Puppolo to some extent, is not particularly establishment material in the city. He ranks low among the nine winners for city council and will have no choice, but to run as a ward-rep in the 2009 election. Still, the area blogosphere remains suspicious of him as do members of the city's reform element. Comments left on blogs focus on his grandstanding in the paper and media as a means to maintain a long-term position in municipal politics. Notably, these have not made any judgement about his quality as a councilor per se.

In any event, the responsible thing to do might be to keep quiet from now on. A number of details have already been made public and once this is all over, then we can do whatever we need to do to vindicate or crucify any guilty parties.

It has also been suggested in blogs that this new Control Board, as in the Patrick appointees, is sub-par to the previous one. It is impossible to say at this time. If there is any malfeasance or misfeasance it looks as though it may rest with Lisauskas. The current board members are quite qualified and to paraphrase Heather Brandon bring different things to the table.

In any event, this will certainly only serve to strengthen the rallying cry to abolish the Control Board ahead of schedule. The likes of Kateri Walsh and Bill Foley will use this as a reason to demand restoration of local control, neglecting of course their role, whether on the Council or not, as municipal leaders in the current crisis. Such calls will remain irresponsible as this could have just as easily happened on their watch. Odds are we may would not find out about it until the parties involved were dead or had fled to Paris.

Ferrera has not called for dissolution of the Control Board ahead of schedule and neither did the local officials on the board, Mayor Domenic Sarno and City Council President Bud Williams. In any event, the likelihood that Gov. Deval Patrick would reverse himself over this is remote. He may play some musical chairs with the board, but that is all. Moreover, nothing will happen until Attorney General Martha Coakley's investigation is complete and any negotiations and/or lawsuits are settled.

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