Everett reporter fabricated corruption allegations against Mayor Carlo DeMaria
The mayor of a Boston suburb claims a wealthy Massachusetts family bought a 138-year-old newspaper and used it to create fake stories to beat him up — and according to court documents, the newspaper’s reporter admitted in response that his incendiary articles “all” were made up.”
Andrew Philbin and his son Matthew reportedly have a decades-old grudge against Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, who was a city councilman in the 1990s when he denied the family’s operating permits for local inns they owned, according to court documents.
The Philbins sought revenge on DeMaria when in 2017 they bought the Everett Leader Herald — a weekly newspaper founded in 1885 — “with the primary purpose of having a vehicle with which to publicly attack the mayor,” court filings said.
The Philbins hired a grumpy reporter, Josh Resnek, who allegedly testified in court testimony that he made up quotes and made-up stories about DeMaria’s corrupt dealings out of thin air — including accepting and paying bribes from casino magnate Steve Wynn had women who accuse him of sexual assault.
Court documents cite a December 2020 email from Resnek to Matthew Philbin, which allegedly read, “We’re going to crush this guy (DeMaria). We destroy this guy. He had 12 years to build himself up. We’re in our second full year trying to take him out.”
In a September 6, 2021 email from Resnek to Matthew Philbin, the reporter reportedly wrote in court documents: “[I] think i got this fat fucker I’ve been working to bring him down for three years.”
When asked under oath whether Resnek’s articles alleging that DeMaria took kickbacks and extorted tens of thousands of dollars from individuals were factual, Resnek allegedly confessed that it was all “made up.”
When asked by DeMaria’s attorneys whether stories alleging DeMaria’s alleged misconduct were “100% fabricated,” Resnek reportedly replied, “Yes, sir.”
In response to the allegations set forth in the amended complaint, Resnek “disputes the conclusive allegations and characterizations that emerge from the testimony” and “denies the conduct allegedly derived therefrom.” Resnek noted that his testimony was “ongoing.”
The Philbins also allegedly hired a private investigator to “secretly monitor” DeMaria and his family, according to court documents. In January 2021, court documents accused Matthew Philbin of texting Resnek, “Fatty is in Arizona with the in-laws.”
The Philbins have denied the allegations.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Philbins own several businesses and assets in and around Massachusetts, including commercial and residential real estate, insurance, hotels and cannabis dispensaries.
The family’s alleged “animus” toward DeMaria dates back decades to the mayor’s serving as a city councilman and refusing to renew licenses for the Philbins to operate local boarding houses, the amended lawsuit states.
“Given the then ongoing problems with boarding houses, Mr. DeMaria would not renew the licenses of non-compliant boarding houses that adversely affected their neighborhoods, including those owned by the Philbins,” the amended lawsuit reads.
“Mr. DeMaria’s regulation and review of pensions angered the Philbins, who viewed Mr. DeMaria as a threat to their financial and business interests,” the amended filing reads.
The Philbins denied all allegations contained in court filings, including claims that the pensions “broke … rules or regulations.”
The Philbins also denied the allegation that the newspaper articles about DeMaria were published with them “knowing that they had no evidence to support their false claims,” claiming that the articles “Mr. would harm DeMaria and result in his impeachment.”
According to a source familiar with the matter, Resnek continues to work as an independent contractor for the Everett Leader Herald, which has no full-time employees.
According to court documents, Resnek allegedly fabricated stories that DeMaria blackmailed a city clerk, sexually harassed and threatened several women, and received bribes from casino mogul Steve Wynn.
DeMaria, a native son of Everett who has been elected six times to run the town about 20 miles north of Boston since 2007, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Resnek and the Philbins.
After the lawsuit was filed in 2021, Resnek was dropped by DeMaria’s attorneys, who spied on him about the veracity of his stories alleging corrupt mayoral dealings.
Resnek’s alleged affidavit that his stories were “100% fabricated” prompted the mayor’s attorneys to file an expanded lawsuit last fall.
Resnek and the Everett Leader Herald “allegedly knew their stories were ‘fiction’ and ‘fake,’ and they admitted so,” based on Resnek’s testimony, according to the amended lawsuit filed in Middlesex Superior Court. They are seeking unspecified damages.
Resnek denied these characterizations of his testimony in his response to the court.
After buying the paper in 2017, the Philbins sued Resnek for the mayor, whom they dubbed “Kickback Carlo,” for “the express purpose of defeating the mayor,” according to the amended file in Middlesex Superior Court.
They haven’t fired Resnek and apparently have their own ax to grind against the Democrat. When DeMaria was city councilman, he had voted against their proposal to renew licenses for inns they planned to build in the city of 60,000.
DeMaria had said the buildings were slums rented out to “shitbags,” according to Boston Magazine.
The Post has reached out to the Philbins, Resnek, and DeMaria for comment.
Resnek’s testimony is expected to be completed in the coming months.
The 73-year-old ink-smeared veteran with stints at other Massachusetts weeklies and the Boston Herald reportedly began routinely publishing articles accusing DeMaria of wrongdoing in a bid to weaken his public support in the run-up to the 2021 mayoral election. said the lawsuit.
“Every week, 52 times a year, I invent the Leader Herald… The mayor is my enemy,” Resnek wrote to a colleague, according to an email described and attached to the lawsuit. “It takes me two days every week to avoid important writing to write this shit.”
Resnek’s alleged sham reporting included a story published in September 2021 that quoted City Hall clerk Sergio Cornelio as saying DeMaria had demanded a $97,000 payment as part of a local development deal. If Cornelio refused, the mayor swore to ruin his life, Resnek reported.
In August 2021, the Everett Leader Herald published a story alleging that DeMaria “paid what appeared to be hefty sums to several women alleging sexual violence and abuse by him in order to keep their mouths shut,” as per detailed investigative reports by The Boston Globe has been reported.”
The Globe published an article in 2014 with the headline, “Four Women Accuse Everett Mayor of Sexual Harassment.”
DeMaria never faced any charges or lawsuits in the individual incidents. Resnek claimed there was a comparison with one of the women
In DeMaria’s lawsuit against Resnek and the Philbins, DeMaria’s attorneys allege the August 2021 story was “defamatory” and that Resnek allegedly admitted “that he never saw alleged comparisons because they didn’t exist.”
Resnek also wrote a story in April 2020 claiming that DeMaria “put a knife on [the] throat” of a woman. When asked under oath if the story was “fake,” Resnek replied, “Yes, sir,” according to the amended lawsuit.
Resnek allegedly admitted in a deposition that he knew a judge had dismissed the lawsuit “for lack of probable cause.”
Another story is reserved for a book Resnek compiled about DeMaria granting Wynn a gambling license at a casino. Wynn opened Encore Boston Harbor in Everett in 2019.
Resnek was reportedly outraged that DeMaria licensed the film to Wynn instead of his friend, Everett native Joe O’Donnell, according to Boston Magazine.
In a May 2019 email Resnek reportedly sent to O’Donnell, the journalist wrote: “Remember, Joe, that fat, useless fk so revered in your hometown, you and I aren’t like that unlike.”
“He wants a piece of what he’s doing with that money that doesn’t belong to him,” Resnek reportedly wrote to O’Donnell in the email. “Unlike you and me, he’s an elected official.”
A spokesman for Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas told The Post, “Wynn Resorts has worked with Mayor DeMaria and his administration to make Encore Boston Harbor a significant catalyst for economic development in the area. Our dealings with the mayor have always been absolutely professional.”
The Post has reached out to O’Donnell for comment.
The stories Resnek wrote put a damper on voter support for DeMaria, which was fairly popular in Everett before the Philbins bought the Everett Leader Herald, according to Boston Magazine.
But despite the negative press, DeMaria is serving a sixth term as of November 2021.
https://nypost.com/2023/02/07/everett-reporter-faked-corruption-claims-against-mayor-carlo-demaria/ Everett reporter fabricated corruption allegations against Mayor Carlo DeMaria