In a stunning development late Wednesday, Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) Chairman Steve Crosby announced he was resigning from the commission and his post as chair.
It’s a post he has held since day one of the commission, and comes just one day before the MGC began discussing protocol for the Wynn investigation rollout, which is expected to be in early October.
“With a profound sense of sadness, regret – and yes, frustration – I am resigning as Chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, in order to give you the best possible opportunity to do your work without distraction,” he wrote in a letter late Wednesday. “And I leave the leadership of this organization in the very capable hands of your four Commissioners. I am deeply proud of the work we have done together – and I know you will continue your remarkable innovative work on behalf of the people of Massachusetts.”
Crosby’s decision was based on the fact that he has been barraged by both sides of the Wynn discussion saying he is not credible and should step aside.
He said on Sept. 17, lawyers for Steve Wynn contacted him and said he was not fit to oversee the matter because they believed that he had made up his mind against Wynn.
Meanwhile, on Sept. 25, lawyers from Mohegan Sun contacted him and said he should recuse himself because they believed he had already made up his mind in favor of Wynn.
Compounding it was the $3 billion lawsuit filed by Suffolk Downs last week against Wynn that discusses Crosby at length.
“Suffolk Downs filed a $3 billion lawsuit against Wynn Resorts, in which pages of accusations regurgitated false claims of bias made against me in the past,” he wrote. “Sadly, we’ve been here before. It was about four years ago that the Gaming Commission was battered by lawsuits and accusations of bias in the matter of the Region A licensing process. I was often at the center of these lawsuits and accusations. As the Commissioners now prepare to receive and deliberate on the IEB investigation of the suitability of Wynn Resorts to hold the Region A license, the lawsuits, threats of lawsuits and false allegations have begun anew.”
He said he believed that, like before, the decision made in the coming month would once again be challenged in court.
“I simply cannot let my involvement in these critical deliberations be used by others to hamper the Commission’s ability to do its work, or to undermine the confidence of the public in that work,” he wrote. “There has never been a shred of truth or accuracy to any charge of bias, favoritism, corrupt practice, ethics violations, or prejudgment in my execution of this job. I established our core value that our work must be ‘participatory, transparent and fair.’ I live that core value, as you do.”
The remainder of Crosby’s resignation letter rehashed the successes the MGC has seen, including the opening of the Springfield casino and the Plainville slot parlor. He said he was very proud of the work and believed it to be phenomenal.