Dianne Wilkerson's developer pal indicted for alleged illegal campaign contributions
Arthur Winn, 72, of Brookline, faces prison time and fines on charges he used illegal campaign contributions - including funds diverted from public-housing projects - to help win state approval and funds for his failed Columbus Center project.
Winn was a prominent backer of convicted ex-state Senator Dianne Wilkerson during her troubles getting on the ballot and later fighting a federal indictment; in turn, she strongly supported the Columbus Center project. But in a statement, the FBI and the US Attorney's office in Boston says Wilkerson was not the only recipient of Winn largesse in an attempt to get his massive project built on a deck over the turnpike in the South End:
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said, “Using strawmen and conduits to conceal the true source of campaign funds erodes the public’s confidence in our electoral system. The conduct alleged today, which includes conduit contributions that were ultimately reimbursed using funds from publicly subsidized housing communities, demonstrates the importance of open and honest campaign funding and record keeping.”
The information charging ARTHUR WINN alleges that he solicited and made campaign contributions to a wide variety of candidates for elected office with the hope that these elected officials would generally support his companies’ development projects, including Winn Columbus Center Limited Partnership’s development of Columbus Center. Columbus Center was a mixed-use development that was to be built over the Massachusetts Turnpike and, at times, was designed to include a luxury hotel, condominiums, retail stores, and other amenities.
In response to the increasing demand to solicit these contributions from company vendors, [Winn associate] Raffol reimbursed some vendors for the campaign contributions solicited from them. These reimbursements came in, among other forms, payments for inflated or false invoices, including invoices billed to certain publicly subsidized housing communities. According to the information, in engaging in this conduct, the true source of these contributions was disguised from the FEC and state authorities, and, in some cases, circumvented the statutory prohibition on corporate contributions.
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If true, then he deserves to do the time
but I'm still kind of disappointed that Columbus Center didn't happen. That was a good project, and the fact that he felt he needed to resort to bribery is as much an indictment of the development process in Boston as it is of the man who paid the bribes.
B-but that would mean
B-but that would mean shadows! How dare you suggest that the urban scars of highway and railroad trenches be covered over by developments which would generate tax revenue whilst knitting neighborhoods together. We are all going to die of rickets from a lack of sunlight if all urbanity isn't expunged from Boston. For sixty years we've been transforming into a suburb, why stop now?! The only crime here is that Winn forget to include the mayor in on his scheme and that too much of the financing was dependent on CALpers.
You're right, it's a shame
It's a shame we missed the opportunity to grant permission to a company that was willing to take part in a massive years-long effort to illegally subvert the rule of law to get what they wanted.
I mean, a company like that would have no problems at all successfully completing a hugely disruptive project without resorting to any more unethical behaviour - everyone knows that you can only bribe an official once.
I'm sure that they would have only broken the law to get around procedural hurdles. They never would have used bribes to get a sweet tax deal or unnecessary government subsidies. Or treated their (obviously all local) employees unfairly, or cut corners on safety requirements protecting those workers or the public at large.
Because as everyone here in Boston knows - companies that stand to make gobs of money tearing up and rebuilding highways and the structures around them never do anything like that! No siree.
Instead of putting Winn in jail ...
... the court should require him to finish the Columbus Center project as originally proposed, at his own expense if necessary.
Now you're getting kooky.
Now you're getting kooky. Winn didn't block the Columbus Center project - he tried to build it.
Let's see what really stopped the project:'
Boston Globe, March 11, 2010
"But with neighbors and local politicians aligned against it, the project eventually collapsed under its own ambition. By the time Calpers and its local partner, the WinnCompanies, had navigated an exhaustive public review that included more than 130 community meetings, the project had become so expensive and the economy so weak, that the developers could not borrow the necessary funds to build it."
"While the site has been moribund for nearly two years, yesterday’s an nouncement by the pension fund amounted to an official death notice, prompting a collective exhale from neighbors and local leaders whose lives have been dominated by the saga.
“It’s great news,’’ said Boston state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz. “I’m glad we’re finally getting to the end game.’’
Yeah, Arthur Winn should have to build the project with his own money. Great analysis. Come in from the ledge, Ron.
Why would an old man want to blow money on the project in a bad economy. Perhaps he strung a long a lot of greedy dishonest people (Pawns) to help him line his own pockets.For something he never intended to complete.Like the half finished housing back in the seventys If he flips will see how many are involved. And how many other scams are out there. It seems all you have to do is dig a hole and have someone make a poster or some leggo buildings and the rats will come out looking for thier cut. (Over dramatized but you get the picture) the key word is perhaps Used to Express uncertainy or possibility.
What good would that do?
There are already hundreds of empty luxury condos in the city that never have been sold. Let's say he got this done - instead of 3-4 walking dead projects we'd probably have half a dozen. This thing was so big it would have taken down a couple of additional projects with it when the economy turned south. The city only absorbs about 1200 housing units a year - even in good times - and only maybe a quarter of these are high end/luxury. We need to learn that just because we build it doesn't mean there are customers out there to buy it (or more recently rent it). We got away on the cheap and just had to replant some trees. Had this thing gone under construction any time after 2005 we'd be dealing with worse than the Filene's hole - it would have been a rusting hulk hanging over the turnpike = including a waste of tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars (after promising he didn't need a public subsidy to get this done he of course came back with the help of Wilkerson and tried to get it - and if I'm not mistaken did get it until everything came unraveled)
The company itself agreed to a plea deal
That could leave it open to $1.5 million in fines, the US Attorney's office says.
The following is a statement from WinnCompanies:
This is very bad behavior but
This is very bad behavior but I do admire what Winn has done for low-income housing. If you compare Winn's properties like Mission Main or Castle Square with BHA properties like Alice Taylor you'll see that the Winn properties are much more liveable. There was a real effort to create nice, well-landscaped places with decent services for residents. Castle Square is now undergoing a $50 million renovation including some energy retrofitting that's supposed to be the first of it's type in the US. Mission Main was completely transformed by Federal funding and is now very attractive.
No Justice No peace
Dianne and Chuckie go to Jail Whitey Winn should go to the slammer too
Winn isn't a politician, the
Winn isn't a politician, the other two are held to a higher standard just like cops. I'm not saying Winn shouldn't do time but he isn't in the same league.
Based on your analogy then
Based on your analogy then let's see who else should go to jail:
"In the end, Winn himself was charged with just two misdemeanor criminal violations, for a total of $4,500 in donations he gave to the campaigns of Representatives Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch."
So Capuano and Lynch go to the pokey too,right?
Wait, there's more:
"Governor Deval Patrick, former governor and current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Senator John Kerry, Mayor Thomas M. Menino..."
Lock 'em up and throw away the key!
so you're saying Lynch and
so you're saying Lynch and Capuano took bribes? We know Wilkerson and and Turner did and they were convicted. So what are you talking about? It sounds like you're talking ragtime.