Sal DiMasi (Speaker of the House)
The third time wasn’t the charm for Massachusetts having an honest Speaker of the House. Sal DiMasi’s two predecessors were both ousted from office following criminal convictions, but he couldn’t learn from their failures. Instead, DiMasi tried to live the high life, taking kickbacks to help pay off $275,000 in personal debt from lavish vacations, first-class flights, and designer clothing for him and his wife Debbie.
DiMasi was convicted in 2011 of accepting a $65,000 bribe in exchange for steering two software contracts worth $17.5 million to Cognos, a Burlington-based computer company. The trial offered a window into the seedy dealings of Beacon Hill, with aides to Governor Patrick testifying that DiMasi threatened to hold up an emergency spending bill to help fund police and fire departments if the administration did not support the $17.5 million contract. Later, after the Boston Globe exposed his involved with the company, DiMasi demanded the governor claim the contract was awarded without the Speaker’s involvement.
Marie St. Fleur (State Representative from Dorchester)
Marie St. Fleur took a novel approach to her taxes – she didn’t pay them, accumulating a debt of $12,711 to the IRS. In addition, she had skipped her Boston property tax payments as well, owing over $7,200 to the city. Normally, this information would be public record, but conveniently for St. Fleur, fellow Democrat and Secretary of State Bill Galvin “forgot” to upload the information to the state’s public database.
When her tax debts were exposed in 2006, she was the running mate for would-be Governor Tom Reilly. He defended her, saying her problems “connect with ordinary people,” before changing his mind and having her withdraw from his ticket. Only a lifetime politician would think tax delinquency was relatable for the average voter.
Anthony Gallucio deserves an award for the most creative excuse for failing a breathalyzer test.
In 2010, the then-State Senator was under house arrest (though still being paid as a State Senator) for a hit-and-run accident that injured a 13 year-old boy and his father. Less than a day before the accident, Gallucio had been driven home by Cambridge police officers at 4:30 A.M. after collapsing in the parking lot of a gas station. He had previously been convicted of two separate DUIs.
Only a week into his sentence, Gallucio failed a required breathalyzer test but then blamed his toothpaste for the reading, apparently being so out of touch he thought that excuse was believable. The toothpaste company said the claim was nonsense and a judge agreed, sentencing Gallucio to a year in prison.
Anthony Gallucio (State Senator from Cambridge)
It’s usually not good when you violate house arrest – and are a former State Senator.
Brian Wallace (State Representative from South Boston)
Who among us hasn’t misplaced $35,000? That was State Rep. Brian Wallace’s defense when he was indicted for campaign finance violations. Wallace kept no records of his abnormal campaign spending, which included using his funds to pay credit card bills and other personal expenses.
Whether it was for his son’s graduation party, dry cleaning bills, property taxes, or designer sunglasses, Brian Joyce knew who should pay – anyone but himself. Joyce used his campaign fund for the party, his political clout to get his property taxes lowered, and convinced business owners to give him deep discounts in exchange for favors.
That was pocket change compared to Joyce’s regular shakedowns of real estate developers. His law firm was paid $250,000 by a developer whose project needed zoning changes Joyce was opposing. Unsurprisingly, Joyce saw the merits of the development after seeing the check. Earlier, he was paid a $1 million commission on condo sales for a project he had similarly opposed before suddenly supporting it.
Joyce’s law office was raided by the FBI in 2015 and the investigation remains ongoing as of 11/27/2017. While he did not seek reelection in 2016, the Senate refused to expel Joyce despite the widespread corruption.
Brian Joyce (State Senator from Milton)
Oh – what’s to come in 2018 about former State Senator Brian Joyce? Stay tuned as there might be a whole new chapter on the 100 plus counts against Mr. Joyce.
John Buonomo (Middlesex County Register of Probate)
Register of Probate pays well for a job most people don’t know about. John Buonomo was making just over $100,000 when he was caught on tape stealing money from the office copy machines. If he hadn’t been so greedy and gotten arrested over literal pocket change, he would have gotten away with far worse. After his arrest, the heightened scrutiny on Buonomo led to another indictment, this time for taking over $100,000 out of his campaign fund for falsified expenses. He plead guilty to both counts in 2009 and was sentenced to two and a half years in jail.
Mike McLaughlin (Executive Director of the Chelsea Housing Authority)
Compared to most crooked politicians, Mikey McLaughlin had a complicated scam. A former State Representative and town manager, McLaughlin was in charge of government-run affordable housing in Chelsea. His budgeted salary was a comfortable $156,503, but McLaughlin wanted more. While the board, stacked with his old friends from politics, raised his salary to $334,642, he kept reporting the original, lower amount on public records. McLaughlin was wise to avoid public scrutiny, since his salary was three times higher than that of his counterpart in Boston, who manages twenty times more units.
After his salary was exposed, a federal investigation resulted in his arrest for falsifying budget documents, rigging a federal inspection of his housing authority, and illegally fundraising for then-Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray. Additionally, the investigation found he diverted $3.5 million in public funds from renovation work at the housing projects to a slush fund for his personal use. In total, McLaughlin was sentenced to four years in prison.
Chuck Turner (Boston City Councilor)
Chuck Turner stole money the old fashioned way.
He didn’t misuse his campaign fund or concoct a fancy scheme to hide his inflated salary. Instead, Turner took $1,000 cash from local businessman Ron Wilburn in exchange for a liquor license.
While most crooked politicians pretend to be public servants, Turner was honest about his avarice, telling a reporter, “If you took out all corrupt politicians, you’d take out 90 percent and be left with us 10 percent.” Jurors did not see this as an excuse and Turner was convicted in federal court in 2010.
Moses Dixon ran for State Representative in 2014 and 2016, winning support from staunch feminists like Maura Healy and Elizabeth Warren. They were apparently unconcerned about his attack on then-girlfriend and roommate Kristal Hansley. In her restraining order, Hansley said Dixon, “choked me and pinned me against the wall.” Dixon was charged with a crime for his behavior but the case was dropped.
Democrats always say they “believe all women” when it comes to domestic violence or sexual assault. Apparently that only applies when women accuse Republicans.
Former State Senator Wilkerson plead guilty of 8 counts of attempt of extortion because she took $23,500 in bribes. Never mind the fact that she was caught on camera stuffing $100 bills down her bra.
But the Mass Dem Party and leadership, as soon as she got out of jail, awarded her with praise for her service to the community. We are not kidding.