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Running From the Law: Subpoenaed to Testify, Philbin Tells His People to Head for the Hills

Thumbing his Nose at the Law

  As evidence mounts and mounts against the Leader Herald newspaper, its owner and its publisher in the defamation lawsuit brought against them (and City Clerk Sergio Cornelio) by Mayor Carlo DeMaria, the Leader Herald’s owner, Matthew Philbin, has decided to attempt to stop his bleeding by having those associated with him refuse to answer questions under oath and to disregard subpoenas served on them by the Mayor’s lawyers. In response to subpoenas to appear at depositions to give testimony about Philbin’s apparent cash-fueled scheme to defame DeMaria and try to force him out of office in order to protect the Philbin family business interests in Everett, Philbin has hired a lawyer to represent witnesses with material evidence to give about his conduct, and to inform DeMaria’s lawyers that these witnesses will not be appearing to answer questions.

  Under court procedures, this will require that DeMaria’s lawyers file motions with the Middlesex Superior Court for Court Orders compelling these individuals to appear and testify whether Philbin likes it or not, slowing down the Mayor’s attorneys’ collection of evidence of defendants’ wrongdoing. The Mayor’s lawyers have already won a significant Order compelling Philbin and his codefendants to turn over tens of thousands of pages of emails that they had been withholding. These including numerous emails that showed that Philbin, his corrupt publisher, Joshua Resnek, and their paper, the Everett Leader Herald, engaged in a multiyear campaign to harm DeMaria’s reputation in the hope of defeating him and winning more favorable treatment for the Philbin family business interests in Everett than the Philbin family felt they were receiving under Mayor DeMaria.

Matt Philbin as The Artful Dodger

  Among the individuals whom DeMaria’s lawyers have subpoenaed to appear to answer questions under oath before a court reporter are the Leader Herald’s former bookkeeper, Mary Chauvonik; Matthew Philbin’s daughter Tara Philbin, the CEO of Philbin Insurance; Philbin’s former personal assistant, Nicole Porcella; and Philbin’s son, Andrew Philbin, Jr. Matthew Philbin has hired Attorney Amato Bocchino, Jr. of Beverly to represent these witnesses, and he has sent letters to DeMaria’s lawyers on their behalf announcing that none of them will honor the subpoenas served on them to appear for their depositions, produce relevant documents and answer questions under oath.

  The defendants already have two law firms representing them in the lawsuit. Resnek and the Leader Herald have one law firm, and Matthew Philbin and his father, Andrew Philbin, Sr., also a defendant, have another law firm.

  Philbin’s move to have witnesses dodge subpoenas comes as the evidence has grown that Philbin, Resnek and the Leader Herald fabricated a long series of false articles accusing Mayor DeMaria of wrongful conduct, articles that Resnek has admitted under oath were made up and lacked any basis. Resnek has also admitted that he not only fabricated these articles, but that he invented purported “quotes” that were derogatory of the Mayor, quotes that, he admitted, had not actually been said. Resnek further admitted under oath that after he was sued by DeMaria and received a request that he turn over any notes that he had that supported these fabrications, he manufactured what were supposed to be “notes” in order to make it look as though he had support for his articles when he did not. Then, Resnek admitted, after he had manufactured these notes, he went back and altered them multiple times, and even then they were erroneous. Then Resnek admitted under oath that when he had testified in previous days of his deposition that he had actually taken notes, his sworn testimony was false, meaning that he had lied under oath about his manufacturing of the notes.

No Escaping the Truth

  In a highly detailed Amended Complaint based on these and other admissions, DeMaria’s lawyers termed the Leader Herald, Philbin and Resnek guilty of a “corrupt enterprise.”

  It has emerged in the course of this case that the Leader Herald was, in the words of Philbin’s former employee, a “dying business” that had to be propped up out of Philbin’s personal pocket in order to avoid going out of business altogether. The former employee, who testified that Philbin told her that he had hired a private investigator to “follow” the Mayor in hopes of finding dirt on him that the Leader Herald could use against him, testified that the “newspaper” was not “a real newspaper” because it was financed almost entirely out of Philbin’s pocket and existed solely for the purpose of “getting Carlo DeMaria out of office.”

  After the employee’s deposition, Philbin’s lawyers filed an “emergency motion” with the Court asking for an Order that his information about his finances and those of his various entities be kept confidential. That was over two weeks ago. There has not yet been a ruling on Philbin’s motion.

  The subpoenas served on the four individuals who refuse to testify come in the wake of evidence in the form of emails from Resnek and other admissions that in the summer and fall of 2021, the defendants, needing a “cash infusion” to keep the Leader Herald afloat and wanting to launch an intensive political campaign against DeMaria and in favor of his opponents, solicited and raised thousands of dollars in “off the books” cash to allow it to print thousands of extra copies of the paper. These were filled with anti-DeMaria articles and distributed to 8,000 homes and 2,400 other locations in Everett. According to Resnek, he collected thousands of dollars in cash, including “C-Notes,” in envelopes and from the backs of cars from opponents of the Mayor. A “strategy memo” drafted by Resnek and provided to Philbin outlined their strategy for an intensifying campaign of anti-DeMaria “messaging” – culminating in what Resnek promised Philbin would be an “atomic bomb” that they would “drop” on DeMaria, hoping to defeat him.

  DeMaria’s lawyers have reportedly also served deposition subpoenas on Fred Capone, who is mentioned repeatedly in Resnek’s emails, and on James Mahoney, an independent contractor whom Resnek and Philbin used to prepare their “paper” for publication during their anti-DeMaria campaign.

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