During his second deposition given earlier this month, Everett Leader Herald owner Matthew Philbin struggled to come to terms with his corrupt reporter/publisher Joshua Resnek’s editorial philosophy, claiming Resnek’s goal to ruin Mayor Carlo DeMaria with his inflammatory articles and editorials which he published over a span of 4 years was never his intention.
“You had discussions with Mr. Resnek about the strategy for the newspaper in the Fall of 2021, correct?” asked Attorney Jeffrey Robbins.
“No, I don’t remember that,” replies Philbin.
‘You knew he was planning on publishing articles which would damage Mr. DeMaria’s reputation, correct?”
“He mentions a few things,” said Philbin.
Philbin is then shown an exhibit from a July 2021 email where Resnek, in a strategy about the next seven weeks prior to the primary election, writes, “One big blast seven days before the primary. He can’t and won’t answer it.”
“Yeah, that’s what he says,” states Philbin.
Philbin then attempts to deflect Resnek’s intentions in the same email telling Philbin that he would be launching an “atomic attack” on the mayor the week before the Sept. 2021 primary.
“I don’t know what he meant by that, if it was really negative and really positive on either side of, but,“ states Philbin until he’s cut off by the Atty. Robbins, who asks, “Oh, so you thought that when he said, “An atomic attack,” that it could be that he was going to write a very positive story about Mr. DeMaria; is that what you’re saying?”
“No, maybe about Mr. Capone and Adrien (Guerley),” says Philbin, DeMaria’s two primary opponents.
“Really? That’s what you thought?” asked Atty. Robbins.
“I don’t know what I thought back then. I don’t know what I thought.”
Despite Philbin’s best attempt to refute his and Resnek’s motives of publishing the newspaper, Atty. Robbins produces another email dated Jan. 27, 2019 between Philbin and Resnek, where the corrupt publisher writes to Philbin, “No prisoners is the only way to run this thing. The mayor is what this war is all about.”
“Do you see that?” asked the attorney to Philbin.
The attorney continues reading Resnek’s email where the corrupt publisher describes to his boss an absurd, power-hungry scenario.
“If we remain an honest voice, a powerful compelling voice, we achieve success, we breakdown the mayor’s stranglehold on the city by making life miserable for all those who do his bidding, and ultimately, we live to see the day he leaves office or is thrown out of office or is arrested, indicted and convicted. The department heads, the councilors, the school committee people, the superintendent, they come and go. They must all be made to understand in the weeks and months to come, that if they are with the mayor, then they aren’t with us – as you can’t be with us and be with the mayor at the same time.”
“That’s what he writes you?” asks the attorney.
“That’s what he wrote,” replies Philbin.
When shown another email where Resnek states to Philbin that “these attacks are brutal” on the mayor, Phibin is asked if he, as the owner of the newspaper, ever informed Resnek that he didn’t want to be “brutal” on the mayor.
“You loved the fact that the paper was being brutal on DeMaria, no?” asked Robbins.
“No,” replied Philbin.
The attorney shows Philbin a Blue Suit column where Resnek proudly declares, “This is but one comment of several just like it that I do not solicit. These attacks are brutal for him and reach all the right places in addition.”
Philbin claims he doesn’t know who he (Resnek) is referring to in his email.
“Did you contact Mr. Resnek and say, I don’t understand what you mean here. You say these attacks are brutal for him. What articles are you referring to?”
Philbin replies, “I don’t remember that.”
The questioning turns to Resnek’s email which says that he will share in any money from a book he’s writing about the Wynn Casino license and the mayor with Philbin.
“You and I share in any money from the book so hyping the book at Carlo’s expense is a win-win for us,” states Resnek.
Philbin states that Resnek wrote “a couple of books” and that he’s not really concerned about his books and they never had an agreement.
“So did you contact Mr. Resnek and say, ‘Mr. Resnek, you say that you and I are sharing in money from a book. That’s not true.’ Did you do that?”
”No, I didn’t, no,” replied Philbin.
In one of Resnek’s Eye on Everett columns from Nov. 2020 which he submits to Philbin and two of his employees in an email chain, Resnek asks Philbin if he thinks the mayor or his wife would like it – the editorial he has written attacking the mayor.
Atty. Robbins asks Philbin if he enjoys the idea of these articles upsetting Mr. DeMaria and his wife.
“Did you enjoy the idea of these articles that were being published hurting Mrs. DeMaria?” asked the attorney.
“No,” replied the newspaper owner.
In a December 2020 email, Resnek states, “Only the mayor matters and we’re out to get him.” Philbin denies that Resnek’s statement is referring to him.
Robbins asks Philbin if he called Resnek to inform him that he wasn’t out to get the mayor as he was, Philbin replied he didn’t remember.
“…you’re the only person he’s writing on this email, right?” asks Robbins.
“Yes, that’s what it looks like,” he replied.
‘We will crush this guy. We are crushing this guy. He’s had 12 years to build himself up. We’re into our second full year of trying to take him out.’ Right?” asks the attorney.
“That’s what it says, yes.”
Philbin was then asked if that was what accurately described what he and Resnek were doing to the mayor, Philbin said he didn’t believe so.
When asked if he contacted Resnek to inform him that he was having a negative impact on the mayor, Philbin stated that he couldn’t remember.
Resnek’s email continued, “At some point, these two points will meet – him acting as though he is a king when in fact, he is a scoundrel and us becoming known even more profoundly as the paper that tells the truth and drives him from office.”
Philbin would admit that, although he wasn’t trying to drive the mayor out of office, he was hoping he would be beat in the election by his challenger Fred Capone.
“Driving him out of office” was only a figure of speech, claimed Philbin.
“You wanted to see him indicted?” said Robbins.
“I didn’t say that,” answered Philbin.
“I’m asking you, did you?” asked the attorney.
“No. I would hope not,” replied Philbin.
Who knew the Everett Leader Herald owner cared so much?