Defendants Philbins, Alcy fail to show for depositions; a billionaire buddy to whom Resnek owes his life
Amongst the missing
According to sources close to the case, Mary Schovanec, longtime office manager for the Everett Leader Herald newspaper, along with Tara Philbin, CEO of Philbin Insurance, have refused to testify after being subpoenaed by Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s legal team in his ongoing lawsuit after Resnek admitted – and boasted – about his solicitation and receipt of thousands of dollars in cash from opponents of Mayor Carlo DeMaria, pocketed by Philbin and Resnek to fund their campaign to defeat DeMaria and elect his opponents.
It has also been learned that Guerline Alcy, the former City of Everett employee who recently lost in the state representative primary race, was ordered to appear after she claimed in a story published by Resnek in the Leader Herald that she was sexually harassed by the mayor while working in the Mayor’s Office for over a decade. It was reported that Alcy had since cancelled her deposition weeks ago, failing to produce documents, including communications between herself, Resnek and Philbin.
It is believed that motions will be filed against the parties to produce documents as well as appear at their depositions in the near future.
To bag or not to bag
During ongoing depositions, Resnek was presented with texts and emails in which he details alleged payments from mayoral challenger Fred Capone’s supporters where he would be receiving cash payments to help fund the newspaper through the 2021 elections. Resnek even went as far as producing a plan to newspaper owner Matthew Philbin describing three donors: Mr. A, B and C, who would donate thousands of dollars to the newspaper’s production and home delivery budget. Resnek claimed he couldn’t recall who the three men were.
Resnek would then describe to Philbin and email confidants the scenarios of picking up the cash, whether at a breakfast meeting outside a restaurant on Main Street or at meetings with Capone or his supporters.
“I owe him my life”
In the fourth deposition of the Leader Herald publisher/reporter, Resnek discussed his “billionaire buddy” Joseph O’Donnell, a former Everett native who was responsible, according to Resnek, for getting his son into Harvard by way of an introduction by former Everett Supt. of Schools Frederick Foresteire.
In one of his many emails to his good pal Russell Pergament, the newspaper publisher who brought Boston the failed Tab and Metro newspapers, Resnek was all giddy when he stated that he owed O’Donnell his life for getting his son into Harvard. In typical Resnek fashion, he tells Pergament in a May 2019 email not to “share this with anyone” – that “my billionaire buddy from Everett Joe O’Donnell – we’ve been friends for about 30 years. He got my kid into Harvard and Harvard Law School. I owe him my life – and I do some work for him.”
Resnek would attest that he had “many meetings” with O’Donnell to discuss the casino license for which O’Donnell, along with his partner, Richard Fields, of Sterling Suffolk Racecourse LLC (SSR), who partnered up with Caesar’s Entertainment for the Class A gaming license. SSR would lose out to Steve Wynn and the City of Everett for the gaming license as Caesar’s was found not suitable by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s Investigative Enforcement Bureau (IEB) over financial stability.
In a May 3, 2019, email to O’Donnell, Resnek offered his two cents about the Mass. Gaming Commission’s ruling to let Wynn Resorts hold onto their license, despite, in typical fashion, claiming without any facts that Wynn was guilty. A familiar theme for Resnek – no facts, all fiction. “What does this mean for us – for you and me?” asks Resnek. “It means my shit-ass nitwit newspaper of record with me at the helm – is worth more than it was when the week began.”
At least he was half right. Resnek then attempts to hype his “public voice in print and online” that “may not mean much to anyone else but means a lot to me.”
Resnek continues his jealous rage, falling back on his pitiful spiel of trashing the mayor, falsely calling him greedy, disloyal, a government informant, a common thief and a jerk. “Remember Joe, this fat useless f@#k so adored in your hometown, is not so unlike all of us. He wants a cut of whatever he does with this money which is not his. Unlike us, he is an elected public official. His share is his salary but then, as my old Irish mentor always told me, ‘The W-2 doesn’t tell the whole story about the mayor’s salary.’”
Resnek spins his yarn, telling O’Donnell that whichever one of his lawsuits he files survives can be used as a bargaining chip for a settlement.
In 2019, the RICO lawsuit filed by O’Donnell and SSR against Wynn was dismissed by the court. Another swing and a miss for the wordsmith.
Meanwhile, back at the deposition, when asked to expand on his relationship with O’Donnell, Resnek tells Attorney Jeffrey Robbins that he met with O’Donnell in 2020 and 2021, when, he claimed, he was trying in vain to sell his manuscript. When asked about the work he claimed he performed for O’Donnell in his email to his “dear friend” Pergament, Resnek stated that he was never employed or received any cash. Robbins asked him again about his statement in the email, but Resnek claimed it was only discussions about the casino deal, and his manuscript written by him and Walter Pavlo, a contributing reporter for Forbes magazine who covered the casino license that sided with O’Donnell in his lawsuit against Wynn.
“A violation of campaign finance law?”
The deposition then turned to Resnek’s boss Matthew Philbin and the Philbin family’s business interests, including various “jobs” he was hired to do after his dismissal from the Independent Newspaper Group partnership. Atty. Robbins asked Resnek about being hired by Philbin to perform public relations for Robert Van Campen in his mayoral challenge against DeMaria in 2012, five years before Philbin’s ownership of the Leader Herald.
Resnek couldn’t recall who paid him for that particular service but admitted to being paid for publishing for Philbin the short-lived Casino Boston newspaper. He also admitted to being paid to write “various things,” such as press releases for Andrew Philbin, Sr., father of Matthew Philbin and owner of Philbin Insurance, who is also named in this lawsuit. Resnek couldn’t recall anything he did in particular for Philbin, Sr., just the casino publication for Matthew Philbin.
“Okay, so as I understand it, Matt Philbin pays you to do public relations work in the 2010- 2012 range for a candidate that is running for mayor against Carlo DeMaria?” asked Atty. Robbins. “Yes,” replied Resnek.
“Okay. And how is that not a violation of campaign finance law?” asked Robbins.
Just doing as he’s told
The questions turn to Matthew Philbin’s many developments, rooming houses and real estate holdings in Everett, only mentioning one rehab on Ferry Street, a condo conversion which offered no parking. “For several years you have been sending several e-mails a week to Mr. Philbin about what you are planning to do and what you are doing as the publisher and editor of the Leader Herald, correct?” asked Robbins. “Yes, sir,” replied Resnek.
Resnek admitted to also sending emails several times a week and talking to Philbin at the end of the week. “And you also meet with him during the course of the week, correct?” asked Robbins. “Not so much anymore, but yeah, we used to meet.” responded Resnek.
Resnek admitted that he had to send the final drafts of the “Eye” column to Philbin, his vice president of operations Elena Vega, James Mahoney and Alex Yates each week and on various occasions for their review.
Atty. Robbins then asks, “Whatever Mr. Philbin wanted to have done with these pieces was done. Am I right?”
“I have – these pieces that I wrote, that I publish, went in this way when they were finalized. After they had been edited at his office for spelling, they came back to me, I corrected it and it went in the paper,” claimed Resnek, adding, “I determine what goes in the newspaper, and if Mr. Philbin doesn’t like it, it’s too bad. He can get someone else to be the publisher of his newspaper. That’s how it works.”
“Is that so?” asked Robbins.
But in an email to Philbin on Oct. 13, 2020, the attorney stated, Resnek wrote to his boss, “Forward: Proof – all the pages! This is what it looks like. We are now checking for grammar and spelling mistakes (like the first line of the EYE, et cetera. Sergio’s name has been removed. Systemic has been removed. The editorial has been replaced and whatever else you wanted has been done.”
“Have I read your statement correctly?” asked the attorney. “Yes, absolutely,” replied Resnek. Robbins, once again, reaffirms to Resnek that he sends the entire draft of the newspaper to Philbin and his employee for review, saying if Philbin wanted something changed, he’d conform to his demands.
In an email dated July 6, 2021, Resnek states to Philbin after sending proof of his articles, “Please check out carefully. All recommendations will be followed – as is always the case.”
The attorney then presented multiple “Eye” columns written by Resnek, which he claimed were sent to Vega up until she left due to Covid, according to Resnek’s testimony, but always included Philbin and now, James Mahoney, who performed the computer layout of the newspaper. Resnek vainly attempted to deviate the final editing away from Philbin but kept getting tripped up by his own emails.
When asked to read into the record an email dated May 25, Resnek stated, “Oh, check this out. This is not the FINAL Pdf. Your editorial edits will be shortly added.”
It was then discovered that Vega had not left and was still receiving drafts from Resnek.
Again, it was established that Resnek sent every edition, not just the editorial columns, to Philbin before publication – not just for what he first claimed were for grammatical errors, but to review and make changes. “I want to make sure I’ve got this stuff right,” said Resnek.
Next week: hiring a private investigator he doesn’t know