Carlo DeMaria, Jr. vs. Everett Leader Herald, Sergio Cornelio, Joshua Resnek, Matthew Philbin and Andrew Philbin, Sr.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but…
One-time mayoral candidate and local Attorney Fred Capone met with Attorney Jeffrey Robbins in the Boston law offices with Capone’s Attorney, Daniel Skrip, on November 9, 2022, to provide his deposition in the lawsuit against the Everett Leader Herald newspaper, Matthew and Andrew Philbin, Sr., Sergio Cornelio and Joshua Resnek. After establishing his career as a city councillor and his mayoral challenge, along with another fellow councillor, Gerly Adrian, against Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Jr. in 2021, Capone was asked about his relationship with corrupt Everett Leader Herald newspaper reporter Joshua Resnek, whom he claimed he knew since Resnek started working at the newspaper in 2017.
When asked about his relationship with Matthew Philbin, owner of the newspaper, Capone stated he knew of him and the Philbin family, but didn’t know Matthew personally and was well aware of the Philbins’ business interests in Everett. Capone stated that he never met with Resnek socially, but would talk to him on occasion at City Council meetings and events and in response to questions – he’s asked me about the mayoral campaign.
“Has he provided you with advice about how to defeat Mr. DeMaria?” asked Atty. Robbins. “He provides a lot of suggestions. That doesn’t mean I listen to them. Sure,” replied Capone, “he offers a lot of information about a lot of things; not necessarily relevant to anything.”
As part of the subpoena, Capone was ordered to turn over all communications, such as emails and cell phone texts, to the mayor’s attorneys – many, according to Atty. Robbins, have yet to be submitted. Establishing the relationship between Resnek and Capone, in one of the exhibits discussed was a screen shot of a text between the two, believed to be after the September primary, where Resnek characterizes Gerly Adrian as “a bum.”
“Mr. Resnek texts to Capone, ‘A reckoning is certain,’ which was answered by Capone, ‘Can only hope. Thank you for your attempt to get Gerly activated. Another lost cause though.’ When asked for the meaning of his text with Resnek, Capone explained that after Gerly lost in the primary she disappeared. Capone stated that he had hoped that Adrian would swing her supporters to his campaign, but it never happened.
Resnek, in his text then replied to Capone, “She has shown herself to be a bum.” Capone replied, “I kinda knew that from the start. Had she advanced he would have buried her.”
So that’s what a campaign account is for
The questioning turned to the Massachusetts campaign finance laws, of which Capone stated he was knowledgeable, particularly the limitations on contributions and the obligation to report certain contributions – which were supposed to be made on a monthly basis during the campaign. It was also important to note that during a campaign a candidate could not draw funds from a personal account; only through an authorized campaign account.
Unfortunately for Capone, he admitted, he didn’t know that when he announced his candidacy and used his personal credit card to make campaign expenditures for what he claimed were multiple direct mailings, to what he admitted to be approximately $30,000. Capone stated that he then reported his infraction to the state’s Office of Campaign & Political Finance (OCPF) after the 2021 general election.
Atty. Robbins questioned Capone about a letter dated March 31, 2022, from the Mass. OCPF which stated that he inquired on November 8, 2021, after the general election, about how to report activity outside of a depository campaign account; and that between August 4, 2021, and November 2, 2021, he had spent a total of $32,463.46 on miscellaneous campaign expenses with his own funds, all outside of the depository system of disclosure, according to the letter.
I know nothing! – I see nothing!
When asked if he ran ads in the Everett Leader Herald on a fairly regular basis, Capone stated that he didn’t recall and wasn’t sure of the frequency. Yet throughout the campaign of 2021, ads for Capone appeared on an almost regular basis in the Leader Herald leading up to November’s general election.
When shown his OCPF Search Expenditures dated from February 13, 2021, to May 13, 2022, the amount totaled $72,495.34 in expenditures, which includes newspaper advertising with Dorchester Publications (Leader Herald), Advocate Newspapers and Independent Newspaper Group. When tallied up, Advocate Newspapers was paid approx. $7,000 for advertising; the Independent approximately $3,000 and the Leader Herald a paltry $315.
“Were there ads that were run for you in the Leader Herald at any point during your mayoral campaign that you did not pay for?” asked Robbins. “Not that I’m aware of,” replied Capone.
The question turned to Resnek’s communications to Capone of his mission to defeat the mayor. Capone agreed that Resnek certainly indicated that to him because, to Resnek, the mayor’s defeat could be construed as “a personal issue” against the mayor. When he was asked if he ever spoke to Resnek about his issues with the mayor, Capone claimed he had a “healthy mistrust of the media of all sorts” and wanted to minimize any communication and exposure.
Your generosity is killing me
The questioning returned to the subject of newspaper ads, particularly in the Leader Herald purchased by supporters. Capone said he wasn’t aware of any until he was shown a text exchange between himself and Resnek stating, “Mike Marchese has bought a full-page ad endorsing you this week. Let’s talk about this.”
Capone said he was aware of it but said it was a full-page ad for Marchese, who was seeking reelection to the City Council. “He’s a candidate. He just stuck my name on it. I’m endorsing it, but it was his political ad,” said Capone.
The October 7, 2021, political ad in question, which states at the bottom of the page as being paid by the Marchese Committee, displays Marchese’s photo at the top and states at the top of the page, “Mike Marchese Councilor-at-Large” and has a headline below stating, “Mayor Employs Criminal Attorney For What?” in large bold, headline-style letters, followed by allegations which depict the mayor involved in an FBI investigation and allegations of wrongdoing, followed at the bottom with large letters stating, “We need a return to integrity, honesty and transparency in the mayor’s office. Vote for Fred Capone for Mayor”.
Capone stated that he couldn’t recall a conversation with Marchese and Resnek about the ad but claimed he wanted to take control of “things” differently. “I guess I did not know what exactly he meant by “Mike Marchese had bought a full-page.” I didn’t know if it was for my exclusive benefit, if it was Mike’s ad, and I somehow was mentioned in it, so I didn’t know exactly what he meant by that,” said Capone.
With friends like Resnek
With respect to Resnek, Capone said that on most occasions he only “half listens” to what Resnek has to say to him due to his distrust of the media, claiming that over the course of his term as city councillor he had been contacted by multiple TV stations, The Boston Globe and Boston Herald, and declined to comment because, “You can’t control what the media does.” Capone then points out the fact that his biggest media supporter, Resnek, has misquoted him on multiple occasions and has never apologized.
When asked about the Marchese full-page ad that Resnek claims “endorses” him, Capone states, “I wouldn’t call that an endorsement.”
“Why don’t you consider this an endorsement of you?” asks Robbins.
“Well, I think a pure endorsement is, ‘Fred Capone is a great guy,’ about Fred Capone. That’s what I see as an endorsement, but I guess everyone has a different definition of what ‘endorsement’ is,” he replied.
The witness was then asked if Resnek ever told him that he and Philbin hired a private investigator to follow the mayor. Capone replied that he may have but couldn’t confirm it either way.
You’re the boss, Josh
When asked about Resnek’s frequent misquoting in his stories, Capone, in a June 8, 2021, email with Resnek, appears to be bullied by the corrupt reporter after telling Resnek that what he had written was “not exactly what he said though.”
In true Resnek fashion, he blames Capone and excuses his fabrications, saying Capone provided “too many words for the readers to digest in a headline” – and his lack of appreciation of his (Resnek’s) work in his ongoing attempts to unseat the mayor.
Resnek’s pathetic diatribe in his email response to Capone’s objections states: “Greed is greed. Your quote was too long for our readers to digest in a headline. I didn’t add a word or take a word out. Those are your words. It is exactly what you said but not in the exact order. If your words out of order are not your words, then we are at impasse here. If I was before a jury, I could convince the jury the words I used are yours, exclusively, absolutely, incontestably. The jury would agree. I will admit to feeling some frustration by your only comment – as if your words, the substance and order of your words are somehow more compelling or important than the sum and substance of what I have done for you with this edition which I will pass out to 10,000 people tomorrow at my cost because I want to beat this fucker. The Capone sign on the front page deserves a thank you. The Capone banner on the inside deserves a thank you. The editorial deserves a thank you. The Blue Suit deserves a thank you. Fred, I am not running for mayor. You are. You are running against a louse. Don’t make me out to be the louse because I changed the sacred order of your words. I am not looking for a thank you, and with you, it appears I won’t get one. That’s OK. I’m going to make it possible for you to win. JR”
When asked about the meaning of the email response, and the words he chose, Capone replied, “He and I had very different opinions on how to run a campaign, I guess so.”
Capone was then asked about Resnek’s claim that the newspaper was being delivered door-to-door in order to help him win; he replied that he didn’t know their practices on deliveries. But when he was asked by Resnek if he wanted certain streets in the city delivered door-to-door, Capone said, he provided Resnek with the names of the streets he wanted delivered.
That’s some bitter salt
When asked about the Blue Suit articles that Resnek wrote on a weekly basis which made fraudulent claims of the mayor taking kickbacks and soliciting payoffs, Capone said that it was just a “fictional conversation with a suit, but admitted that people he spoke with had mixed reactions to the articles. “I took everything with a grain of salt,” said Capone.
Attorney Robbins asks Capone if he read that there were actual accusations and assertions in the Blue Suit columns accusing the mayor of payoffs, kickbacks and engaging in criminal conduct; Capone replied he did. “That’s worse than unflattering, isn’t it?” asked Robbins.
“Well, I’m saying yeah…” replied Capone.
“And you write back to Mr. Resnek, “Please don’t misunderstand me. I truly appreciate your efforts and intentions.”
Next week: Capone deposition continues.