By William Tauro
Long ago, during Somerville’s “darker days”, people often times referred to our city as “Slumerville” and with good reason, to be honest. There was plenty of corruption, back room deals and mafia-style tactics that seeped out of every nook and cranny in local politics and business dealings, both legal and not so much. Due to the hard work of previous administrations and the fine people who make up our community, along with a healthy real estate market, that moniker is officially dead – or is it?
It seems as though with all the bling, mini scandals and smoke-shows in the last couple of years that have followed Mayor Curtatone, there are people outside looking in and joking referring to our fine city as “ScandalVille.” Believe it or not, that is a thing. Although some of the more seedy characters in the community have remained over the years, they wield little to no real power. Meanwhile, we can thank the Mayor and a certain DPW Administrator, aka “The King of Slander and Dirty Tricks”, for bringing us back down to a sad state.
Some remaining (and decent) Aldermen have even publicly distanced themselves from Joe recently – but that’s ok, because the Mayor is trying to stack the Board of Aldermen with two of his old friends to be new rubber-stamp Aldermen. Don’t fall for it – this city will be fine without electing them. Now is the time to really consider “draining the swamp” here in this fine city and anyone associated with Mayor Curtatone.
Very few people know Mayor Joe Curtatone better than I do. From driving limousines for me in the 1980s (helping him get through college and then law school), to representing me as my attorney (along with his sister), to breaking bread with him and his family at just about every holiday and attending family functions, gatherings, political events, etc. Multiple cruises on my boat with his wife and children on some fun-filled, family-orientated fishing trips. All the way through to recent days when we were still very close, good friends – he would ask me to throw fundraisers for him, which I graciously did, and he collected thousands and thousands of dollars to fill his political war chest.
Our families were so close, that Joe’s own mother, Mama Curtatone, even helped out by taking care of my older brother when he was ill and hospitalized for over two years. I remember one Christmas Eve only a few years ago, receiving a phone call from Joe at 10:00PM. Joe asked me what I was doing and I replied “Having Christmas Eve dinner with my family, what’s up?” He replied “my sister’s infant son is missing, he went to get a haircut at 2 o’clock this afternoon with an immediate family member and never showed up back with the child – can you help?” I immediately got in the car with my wife and left my family on Christmas Eve to meet up with Joe and an off duty Somerville Police Sargent (a close friend) in an unmarked car. The four of us immediately began looking for Joe’s nephew at places that the immediate family member was known to frequent and we searched and we searched and we searched for hours and not reporting it to local authorities – until he was finally found at 6:00AM Christmas Morning strapped in the baby seat in a car fully still dressed for Christmas Eve with his clothes full of urine and feces.
We broke so many rules that night during this eight hour Christmas Eve Curtatone family shitshow by not reporting it to the police from the very beginning and waiting until the next day to officially report it – but like I said, we were like family and had to do what needed to be done for each other – good times or bad.
Then there was a time when Joe’s mother was brutally beaten by a family member – leaving her with black eyes and bruises all over her – which prompted the family to whisk her off to Italy to hide it from the public and have her wounds heal. When it came time for different family members to relay messages to each other to back off and stay away – who did they including Joe come to? Me. Not to each other, not to the proper authorities… me. Rather than have a public scandal, rather than report to the proper authorities, he and his family turned to me to help them, and I did. As I said already, we were like family.
Boy, has that changed and not because of me. It’s because there is a very dark side to this once good kid – becoming Mayor caused the power to go to his head, that he believes he is invincible and untouchable and able to do whatever her wants, without consequences. He is wrong.
Now, he has friends of his engaging in social media platforms and another newspaper trying to pull off more dirty deeds to discredit me – to keep me from telling the truth about him and members of his administration. We keep giving them, along with their friends in the community, more and more rope to trip over and hang themselves. As I also mentioned, very few people know Mayor Joe better than I do. He has become rude, arrogant, vindictive and has definitely forgotten where he has come from and whom his friends are. Or were. He has, essentially, forgotten his obligation to the people who elected him Mayor.
You’re probably thinking I asked him for favors over the years. You’d be dead wrong. The entire time he has been Mayor and we have been friends, I never once asked him for a political favor – I never needed anything from him. Yes, my family owned a tow company in the city, but, we were never “given” the city towing contract -we bid just like others bid and no favors given. Prior administrations did award us with the towing contract, but not Mayor Joe. One of the reasons we had the contract for so long is nobody else had sufficient land or equipment to perform the contract adequately except for us. Back in the day, when our tow company also towed for Cambridge, a former Police Chief in Cambridge once said that “The city of Cambridge needs you more than you need them!” So did Somerville.
Now after reading all this, it brings us back to the magic question that so many people have asked me and members of my family: “What went wrong between you and Joe – you were always such wonderful friends?” Well here it is – the true colors of Joe Curtatone came out of its shell, like a one-eyed monster. When my family decided to develop some of their property, we went to the Mayor and told him what we were doing and asked him for his blessing – and absolutely nothing more. Joe frequently asked me to let him know what we’re doing with our properties – to let him know when and what we were developing – because it is “his city.” Never in a million years did we ever think that Joe would try to extort my family – attempting to shake us down on developing our properties. Like others, I’ve heard rumors and stories about Joe’s dealings, but never believed them – now seeing it first hand, I believe now, for sure. They say crocodiles, as they are hatched/born go on a life-long search for sources of food no matter if it’s the hand that fed them. Sound familiar, doesn’t it?
They say that “good things don’t last forever” and it’s true – my family and Joe had a great friendship. Honestly, I loved that kid like he was my own son, but now he’s turned into a selfish and sneaky, backstabbing, greedy son of a bitch for lack of a better term. There are plenty of people who already know this story, sadly. They’re just too afraid to speak up – too afraid of retribution and retaliation. I get it, I just don’t fear that which cannot hurt me.
It’s time for this city to move on and find new leadership – someone as Mayor (and Aldermen) who will concentrate more about the people who elected them than themselves. Oh and I am sure if he even bothers to comment about this article that he will deny all of it – because he either ignores situations that aren’t flattering or denies them – but I have overwhelming proof to back all of these allegations up. We are positive that Joe, and his DPW Administrator, along with their friends at the another news publication are going to start posting their ridiculous rants via their fictional Facebook characters as usual. Let them. They look like fools.
You might think that writing this was easy – but I assure you it takes a lot of courage to put something in writing and put your name on it – it takes a lot of courage to for me write these articles – it took a lot of courage to visit the Boston Office of the FBI and have a conversation with them along with others about my once very good friend, Mayor Joseph Curtatone and his DPW administrator. Never in one million years did I ever think I would one day say, and truly believe it – it’s time to “Drain the Swamp” here in Somerville.