With the revelations coming out about Dolan's godfather and longtime chief of staff (until 2011 when he became the Cemetery head), coupled with RD's suspicious assertions that nothing passed through the city coffers re: the alleged grand larceny of Hughes, it's time to demand a complete and thorough audit. That doesn't mean the mickey-mouse fake "audit" schemes that RD, PDR and CT have pointed to year after year to justify their budget manipulations. A real audit with someone not named Sullivan or connected to prior Melrose dealings is absolutely necessary, especially on hearing that the city has known for years about this cemetery scam but only now has it surfaced. Someone perhaps tried to bury a loved one and discovered their plot did not exist. Whatever happened here, there is a great deal about which citizens should be worried and mad as hell, and it is directly connected with this administration, and in many ways.
Everyone connected with this disgusting and horrifying scam should be jailed. The whole picture needs to be examined, and immediately! It's already obvious that the tentacles of this thing extend in many directions, and citizens deserve to know all of it.
FYI, longtime city embedded sycophants are already rushing to defend Hughes on the FB page for all his years of supposed "good work." Predictable and disgusting. How about defending the poor souls who've been robbed of their family grave plots in a calculated, 5-year scheme that city officials have supposedly known about but only now disclosed by necessity????!!!!!
Yes, an audit needs to be performed immediately.
This week's Free Press has Forbes saying the city couldn't find $1,000 to pay for Narcan and thus has to levy a 2.8 tax rate increase, with a 2.2 lower rate approved for businesses. Then you have Margolis saying that whatever can't be funded from the budget can just be taken care of via "free cash"; this woman needs to go! This irresponsible approach is their chronic answer every year.
Meanwhile at the completion of last year's budget cycle there was $3.5 Million left over....!!!!! These city officials are definitely NOT representing the best interests of taxpayers.
A full investigation is warranted. The city's long-time Chief of Staff and Superintendent of the Cemetery is alleged to have embezzled/stolen $75,000. This might well be the tip of the iceberg, but until a full audit is performed (by an unconnected, unbiased auditor), the citizens have no reason to trust this administration.
Heard today that the Hughes family members allegedly involved may be Mike's son or daughter.
A forensic audit is the only way to go.
Am curious about the godfather thing.
Without first hand knowledge the only record would be at the Church diocese office where Dolan was baptized.
The incestuous job recommendations going on for years in the city has finally reared its ugly head.
Disgraceful that the victims were loved ones hoping to prepare for a resting place for their family.
Bury him...and all his nasty little helpers
And to Dolan: Cry Me a River on this one.
Even if you're a fan of Rob, I don't know how you could be against this. It NEEDS to happen. But we all know it won't.
Absolutely a full forensic audit must be performed. This will require authorization by the BOA and be very expensive, but the residents must have this. There is absolutely zero reason to trust this administration, who had this guy as its Chief of Staff from the very beginnings of the Dolan terms through 2011, at which point he became Superintendent of the Cemetery until 2015. A full audit is upwards of a hundred grand generally, but every dime is necessary and worthwhile in this case. It must be performed by a firm other than the bag-job types that this admin has brought in habitually.
The BOA needs to demand an audit. RD's best friend Garipay is Chair of the Cemetery Commission. I think the other members are a former Melrose cop and a former BOA member and banker. They should also be held accountable for the finances which have been hidden and manipulated for years. The Cemetery budget is administered by DPW which is interesting and questionable?????
Here's a hint - start any audit with the Perpetual Care Fund.
Thanks, Jack Rossi
It's likely that the 2nd floor of City Hall is not a happy place these days. How this will play out will in part be determined by how extensive the corrupt network of this "rogue individual" is and was (and it is probable that it should be VERY concerning to Mr. 26%). The outcome will depend also on whether the public continues to allow this administration to behave as it has, with open contempt for the public it is supposed to serve, and in some cases outright criminally as well (as in the OCR Findings of civil rights violations and creation of a proven "racially hostile environment"). For the former Chief of Staff and Cemetery Superintendent to be prosecuted for this alleged heinous grave-robbing scheme speaks volumes about the character of officials in this administration. Maybe now the public will wake up and start looking at the bigger picture (it isn't pretty).
Dolan was not at City Hall today. He was probably meeting with PR firm and lawyers.
RD needs to figure out how to spin Paul Spencer
First time poster here.
The cemetery is indeed where bodies are buried. And other stuff, like, perhaps, the dregs of removed home heating oil tanks that people with connections to City Hall/BOA and a sense that eyes would look away managed to leave there without ever getting caught.
Longtime Melrosians (and press who are paying attention) know that Melrose's favored form of corruption is more cozy than venal. And it relies on what might be called Melrose Nice (a Yankee form of Minnesota Nice): unpleasant subjects are addressed perfunctorily and swept under the rug, with dagger eyes directed at folks who refuse to play along.
This dynamic always gets worse the longer a party holds power. There was a longtime GOP clique that ran the city into the ground, and it's been succeeded in turn.
Easy questions any investigator - or member of the Board of Aldermen who has not be anesthetized - to ask in public (NOT private):
1. What are the connections (professional, civic, social) among the perps and folks in City government? This is not a side question: it goes to the facts that led the perps to believe they could get away with this for years and not be caught. This is really the heart of the matter, as in many things in Melrose government.
2. What controls were lacking and need to be put into place to not only ensure this kind of thing is not repeated, but that it is identified early in the process of occurring and is brought to public light rapidly?
3. What prevents controls of this sort from being adopted in Melrose?
4. When will an independent auditor be brought in to assess the city's government for controls of that sort?
5. Who is accountable for there being so many instances maladministration?
These are just for starters. They are very easy. Any alderman who does not publicly demand answers to questions of this sort should not be reelected, because it will be a red flag that they've become time-servers.
Just off the top of my head....
Oh, he has to be sure to blog about the great job the DPW will do with Snowmageddon and getting the kids to school.
Concerned Melrosian is completely correct. I have been saying the same or similar for many years. There won't be any honest discussion though as too many folks are interconnected and don't want to lose the perks that come with knowing there is no real accountability.
The cemetery guy? I'm sure he will retain his full pension when this is all done. Plus that nice health insurance.
And again, Why don't I read more or see more about his co-conspirators?
I do enjoy when NECN runs the story which they have a few times now. I picture Dolan wincing. He and the cronies of his administration get away with enough. Sometimes you're going to be found out.
Dolan knew about the cemetery scam a year ago. It took until the DA acted before it came puclic. If Dolan didn't do anything wrong, why did he sit on it for a year?
Why wouldn't the co-conspirators be charged right along with Hughes?
Is it possible there will be a cozy plea deal for Hughes and no one will find out who the co-conspirators are?
2 $ issues at the cemetery.....Hughes allegedly stole $ from perpetual care fund.....and selling graves with "straw sellers".....Hughes is not the only criminal involved....who helped him sell the graves? What do the Cemetery Commission members know? Why didn't PDR (whose son works at the cemetery) and Scenna/Peter P from DPW (who all had managerial and financial oversight of WC) know what was happening? Did they all look the other way? RD says WC is the most "sacred ground" in the cIty.....the cemetery has deteriorated under his Godfather Hughes! The neglect of the cemetery is a crime and now the layers of lies and mismanagement will be tried in court soon. Stay tuned and keep watching!
The cemetery definitely has gone downhill since Steve Cefalo left or was replaced! It never looked as good as when he was 'in charge'.