First, because of this article I made my first online edition purchase of the Lowell Sun. I have hesitated over the years to do so, because I hate the idea of anyone putting me into a subscription that “auto renews” so you get to the point where you’re trapped in a bank, or don’t know when the next withdrawal is coming from your bank. The Sun allows you to purchase a number of months at a fixed price, without auto renew. This is my test, and so far it looks pretty good. I encourage everyone to check this out.
Lowell Sun Front Page
This morning’s Lowell Sun has a headline article pointing out the interlinked network of Dracut politicos all communicating with Mike McLaughlin across last year, and especially during the period of the key events surrounding the attempt to remove the then (and now) director of the Dracut Housing Authority.
To start the ball rolling, there was a need to get another member on the Housing Board who would vote with them. Whether a player, or just being used, the phone call records that the Sun reviewed indicate that the selection of Bond was under way months earlier. Back on April 6th, John Zimini first called Mike McLaughlin, who later called Brian Bond.
“On April 6, Bond changed his party affiliation to Democrat, paving the way for his appointment to the Housing Authority seat,” we are told by reporter Chris Camire.
Coincidence? Don’t miss out on the point that McLaughlin talked with Lt Gov Tim Murray the day before this happened as well.
Then again, on the day before the Governor made the appointment of Bond, calls from McLaughlin to Murray. Then on the day of the appointment, McLaughlin calls Chairman of the Dracut Housing Board Ken Martin four times. (note: this is a state phone, not a private one, supposed to be used for business).
“On the leadup to the vote,” the Sun tells us, to not renew the director’s contract, “McLaughlin was in contact with [Ken] Martin, Zimini and Bond.”
The story goes on to highlight McLaughlin’s calls to and from Martin and Zimini on Oct 30th, the day the Globe first reported McLaughlin’s concealing of his exorbitant salary. Martin called him that morning at 7:41 a.m.. Wonder if there was some concern regarding fallout at that point.
The bar graph of numbers of calls made to and from McLaughlin show huge spikes in communication at the time of the initial vote to remove the director, then at the time of the senior residents protests at the selection of a screening committee (where the seniors were protesting the selection of Maureen Wilke .. another on the phone list.. to that committee), again at the seniors protest on Mammoth Road later that month, and then around the time of the rehiring of Karabatsos to the the position.
Of course, then the calls started up again once the fallout began as the Globe articles started to unfold.
Read the story, draw the lines.
All in all, 394 calls to Dracut Housing Authority Chair Ken Martin, 217 to Dracut Selectman John Zimini, and 121 to Lt Gov Tim Murray. Various other calls to key people during key incidents. But of course, we’re not supposed to believe any of those calls are related to the events in question. (I’m sure they’re just about finding a good fishin’ spot.)
Atty to the School Committee Kevin Murphy received a number of calls himself, where he tells us that McLaughlin was trying to save a job in the schools held by his son Mike McLaughlin Jr (who former Superintendent Spencer Mullen had tried to endow with “professional status” at one time to help protect the job). The contract for the position held by McLaughlin’s son ran out on June 30th.
Murphy tells us that he told McLaughlin that he couldn’t help him, but the guy was relentless. “He wouldn’t give up,” Murphy says.
School Committee member Ron Mercier says calls he received from McLaughlin at the time of the end of this contract only were about McLaughlin asking after his family. Its convenient that he only called at that point.
Michael Goldman, the syndicated “writer for hire” as we have come to know him because of this incident, was called 19 times during these periods.. and then a very nice McLaughlin Puff Piece appeared in the Globe which nobody put any credit to.
Once again, if you’re from Dracut this is a day to go buy the Sun. Read it, and make your own opinions.