Everett residents and Wynn company officials responded Tuesday afternoon to the unveiling of the MGC investigation, with most Everett residents saying they weren’t shocked and they hoped that the Encore project would move forward.
A couple dozen Everett residents attended the hearing on Tuesday, including Councilors John Hanlon and Michael McLaughlin. Most took it all in, and during the lunch break Tuesday afternoon, said they weren’t entirely shocked by the nature of the report.
“It’s all in the hand of the Gaming Commission,” said Louanne Zawordny. “With everything going on, it’s a different time. We’ve been involved in this for so long. We just want the decision made and to go forward. It’s been a long journey for us. Since day one for us, it’s been the jobs and opportunities. Why should Everett have to pay for one man’s bad deeds?”
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he believes the company has made great changes since the allegations came forward, and he also thanked the MGC for conducting the investigation so thoroughly.
“I chose to do business with this company because they are regarded internationally as the best in the industry for the product they deliver,” he said. “It should go without saying that everyone has the right to feel safe at work and anywhere else; anything less is unacceptable. The company has made appropriate changes over the past 14 months, including appointing new members to the board, changing leadership, and extensively reviewing and revising their internal policies and procedures. I want to thank the Gaming Commission for conducting a transparent and comprehensive process. My hope is that they can continue to move as efficiently as possible to ensure the resort opens on time as one of the larger employers in the region. We all look forward to moving ahead.”
Charles DiPerri, of Everett United, said he was ready for a very negative morning, but it wasn’t as bad as he expected.
“So far, so good,” he said. “It sounded like thumbs up for us in Everett. The setup for the public could have been better though. We were told we would hear a lot of negative things. I haven’t heard a lot of negativity yet. I think the Commission has made up their minds already.”
Councilor Hanlon said he believes the investigation showed that the company successfully addressed the problem, particularly with the removal of Steve Wynn completely.
“He never said he was guilty and there was no charge against him,” he said. “Even if he said he was guilty, he’s been dealt with and completely out of the picture. Even though it was very unfortunate what he allegedly did, he’s completely divorced from them. He has nothing to do with Everett.”
After the morning session, Wynn Resorts issued a statement stressing the changes they had made to the company – something they pushed heavily all morning in their statements and speeches.
“The presentation by the IEB provided a detailed and thorough review of the findings of its report to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission,” read the statement. “The findings are consistent with the investigation conducted by our own Special Committee of Independent Directors as well as that of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The Company does not contest the facts contained in the IEB’s report. Since initial allegations against company founder Steve Wynn were made public in January 2018, Wynn Resorts has taken swift and decisive action as well as engaged in a period of intense self-reflection and outside review… Any employee who was aware of allegations of sexual assault against the Company’s founder and did not investigate or report is no longer with the Company.”