MGC’s Crosby Cleared in Ethics Inquiry, Matter Closed

A State Ethics Commission inquiry has been terminated seemingly just as quickly as it came into the public spotlight last week – validating Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s claims of the matter being mere “political theatre.”

On Friday, Crosby announced that he had received a letter from Ethics that terminated the inquiry and revealed that the matter was based on a sworn statement given to Ethics on Oct. 1, 2014. The public knowledge of that statement, however, did not come out until last week when the Boston Globe revealed it in an expose.

“As you know, on Oct. 1, 2014, the Commission received a sworn complaint alleging that Mr. Crosby had violated various provisions of the state conflict of interest law…,” read the letter from Ethics, signed by Enforcement Division Chief Kelly Downes. “The conflict of interest law requires that upon the receipt of a sworn complaint, the Commission shall initiate a preliminary inquiry. Accordingly, on Oct. 16, 2014, the Commission authorized a preliminary inquiry into the allegations against Mr. Crosby. Please be advised that after completing our investigation, [Ethics] voted to terminate the preliminary inquiry concerning Mr. Crosby based on lack of evidence. The matter is now closed.”

That letter was written on June 18, only days after reports of the matter surfaced in the media.

The inquiry came about as a result of an anonymous person who gave a sworn statement that Crosby had meddled in the licensing process with Wynn Everett despite having recused himself months earlier.

Crosby and other Commissioners denied any such thing.

After receiving the letter last week, Crosby informed fellow Commissioners of the news in an internal e-mail – thanking them for their support during what he described as a “disheartening” time.

“I am, probably more than most, deeply aware of the sincerely hard and, at times, disheartening challenges that have accompanied our efforts,” he wrote. “Despite these challenges, all of you have maintained your focus and enthusiasm and for that, I thank you. I would also like to take this opportunity to personally inform you that the Ethics Commission has dismissed the complaint against me and will not proceed with further action. Although it is profoundly discouraging to have my integrity or that of the process called into question, this development yet again substantiates our pledge to operate in a ‘participatory, transparent and fair’ manner…As you well know, nothing like this has ever been done before in the Commonwealth. It is my belief that once newness and reaction gives way to reflection, people will ultimately recognize our state’s gambling industry as the most progressive, transparent and net effective of any in the country.”

In hearing of the inquiry last week, DeMaria said he didn’t understand why one concerned citizen could act as judge and jury in concluding that Wynn should lose its license and Crosby should be impugned.

He said it was “an act of political theatre and desperation from people who prosper every single day that Wynn Everett is delayed.”

Late last week, after learning of the termination of the inquiry, he said he felt justified.

“I am pleased that the State Ethics Commission was able to see through the obvious attempt to distract from the advances being made by Wynn Resorts in making Wynn Everett a reality,” he said. “From the beginning of this process, I was confident that a license decision would be made fairly, transparently and on the merits. The Ethics Commission, in their refusal to advance baseless allegations against Chairman Crosby, validated that confidence. Despite these attempts at distraction, Wynn Everett is moving forward.”

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