The Planet heard from a Very Credible Source (VCS) by phone yesterday, who adding a few valuable cents to the controversy swirling around Chris Speranzo’s political intentions and the wake that will follow, particularly as it concerns Jonathan Lothrop.
Specifically, VCR told us in confidence (that is, not for attribution but to share) that Lothrop has no interest in running for state rep. VCR cited some things only a person on the Very Inside would know, so inside you might even think it WAS Speranzo. We took this authoritative verification to validate the info.
VCS said he or she knows “for a fact” that Lothrop will not run for a vacant seat that may emerge if 3rd Berkshire Rep. Chris Speranzo beats challenger Mark Miller on Nov. 2, wins re-election, then abandons the seat to take a position as clerk magistrate. Of course, if Miller pulls off the upset win, then never mind.
VCS said Lothrop “has a family,” and that would preclude him dedicating himself to a position in Boston. It’s interesting that VCS would not address if Lothrop had been approached by anyone about the job, skillfully dodging the question.
This makes sense, the fact that Lothrop is a family man. Also, it could indicate that since The Planet named him as the hand-picked successor to Speranzo — which, again, VCS says is factually in error — we scared “them” away from completing the coup. If Lothrop was being considered, and if Lothrop was weighing the option to the point of acceptance, and if Lothrop took the job, how would it look when we were proven right? Did someone who extended the 3rd Berkshire seat to Lothrop suddenly take it back because of our reportage?
The last time the 3rd Berkshire seat was tossed up for grabs to the lions was when Peter Larkin said “bye bye” for a cushy post elsewhere. Many ran for the seat — Matt Kerwood, Pam Malumphy, Rhonda Sere, and Terry Kinnas — but only Speranzo was left standing in the end. He did get the backing of establishment interests in that race, and critics say that all but turned the special election into an anointing.
The Planet attempted to reach Mayor Jimmy Ruberto, Speranzo, Lothrop for comment but was not successful.
Chief Wynn Advised City Not to Go After Inhelder
The Planet has learned that prior to the executive session meeting during which Mayor Jimmy Ruberto explained to the city council his reasons for not pursuing the case against serial OT abuser Matt Inhelder in court, the administration gave the evidence to Pittsfield Police Chief Mike Wynn to seek his advice. After review of what the city had, Wynn told the city, “We will never be able to prove anything” to a standard sufficient for a conviction in court.
The chief advised the city that without any witnesses to come forward, the case would be hard to prove. Wynn reported that no one among current or ex-city employees was willing to come forward to testify against Inhelder. The choice of the word “would” suggests a culture of reprisal had they talked. But reprisal by whom?
Though Jeff Ferrin has climbed aboard this issue and galloped into what may be a bright political future, a source within city hall claims it was not Ferrin who first alerted the city about the OT scheme but water department employee David Brites. Brites, we believe, was once a union president. If Brites did alter the city to what was going on, he deserves a medal along with the oak leaf clusters that have been awarded to Ferrin.
If Ruberto made one mistake in this matter, it was to leave it in the hands of DPW head Bruce Collingwood. The mayor’s mistake was to wait until consultant John Barrett came to town before calling out the hounds. Colligwood did nothing about the OT abuse, though he apparently knew what was going on. One would think that when the public services sector of city government is reorganized under a new boss, Collingwood will be in for a demotion. He’s too good an engineer to let go but to inept a manager to keep in a position of top authority.
Lothrop and Speranzo: the Good of It
While The Planet has taken both J-Lo and Spurs into the boards, we will point out that each has served in a useful capacity. Lothrop, along with Peter Marchetti, play key roles in city governement hammering out compromises in policy. Both are policy wonks with vastly different styles. Lothrop is cool, analytical, and intellectual. Marchetti is the opposite. Each blends opposing styles to help move policy forward.
True, they do this in support of the mayor’s agenda, but what effective (or ineffective, for that matter) mayor doesn’t have this sort of help? Lothrop and Marchetti can speak strongly to the mayor about elements of proposals they don’t like, and Ruberto will listen. Thus, they can affect change. To use political parlance, they “engage” the mayor in a way that Melissa Mazzeo won’t and Joe Nichols can’t. Lothrop and Marchetti can make recommendations to Ruberto. He may not agree, but he will consider.
As for Speranzo, we will give him this much. When he was elected to the House, he could have pulled an Andy Nuciforo. You’ll recall that when Sen. Nuciforo served us on Beacon Hill at state senator, he also had his shingle out as an attorney. Speranzo could have done the same and cashed in like Andy to the tune of $50,ooo or so a year, on the simple fact that he has access to certain seats of power in Boston. Speranzo didn’t do this. Spurs didn’t hang out his shingle. We can’t say why, only that he didn’t do that. That’s to his credit and speaks of some integrity, however large or small.