By James Norton
This past week, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents moved in and investigated an assassination threat against the author of the newly released book “Stealing Somerville.”
FBI agents received a tip that a Somerville Department of Public Works (DPW) employee who works for Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone in the city had discussed the threat with a fellow employee at the Somerville DPW garage.
The employee who witnessed the threat informed Somerville News Weekly Publisher/Stealing Somerville Author William Tauro about the assassination threat against him who in-turn immediately informed FBI Boston agents.
Charges were sought to be filed with FBI Boston as well as with the Somerville Police Department against Michael Browne of Somerville by Tauro regarding the threat.
The Somerville Police Department was not notified of the incident at first but was later informed as well as reported to because of open existing federal complaints that were also sought against a Somerville Police Captain by Tauro in 2016 in an accompanying case.
Somerville DPW Repair Garage Foreman Michael Brown 51 of Somerville was called in and interviewed by FBI agents on Wednesday at the Somerville Police Department.
Tauro in an interview stated that “After being made aware of the threat it was also brought to my attention that Michael Browne who is also a constable in the city of Somerville has an active gun license to carry in Somerville.”
Tauro also states that he was made aware that “Browne may also suffer from Agoraphobia which places his life in imminent danger because of this mental disorder that he may have especially where Browne is carrying a gun.”
“Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder that causes people to avoid places and situations that might cause them to feel:trapped, helpless, panicked, embarrassed and scared.” “People with agoraphobia often have symptoms of a panic attack, such as a rapid heartbeat and nausea, when they find themselves in a stressful situation. They may also experience these symptoms before they even enter the situation they dread. In some cases, the condition can be so severe that people avoid doing daily activities, such as going to the bank or grocery store, and stay inside their homes most of the day.”
Tauro also stated that “The release of his book Stealing Somerville Death of an Urban City may have triggered off bad vibes with Browne especially where Browne is mentioned in the book exposing alleged criminal activities within the Curtatone Administration including multiple crimes allegedly committed by Browne as well as he may also be trying to get me out of the way so not to print negative media about Curtatone for the upcoming mayoral election.”
“Federal complaints were sought against Mr. Browne as well as five other suspects including Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone back in August of 2016.
Those complaints were sought with the Boston Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Anti-Corruption Unit, asking the Bureau to pursue charges against Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone with allegations accusing the seven term mayor of racketeering and extortion.
The multiple allegations against the Mayor are stemming back to several stalled development deals within the City of Somerville – accusing the Mayor of “shaking down” property owners, forcing/extorting property owners to use his own connected (favored) developers, racketeering, and tampering with an MBTA property bidding process, while depriving a Somerville (bowling alley) owner of his property rights.
In the case of the bowling alley, the Mayor and a local real estate developer are named as allegedly approaching and attempting to deprive the property owner of his property rights with respect to his fifty-year old bowling alley business/property and attempting to bypass a state mandated bidding process, then allegedly trying to bribe the property owner to vacate the property by offering him a 2% limited partnership share in the real estate development involving a predated paperwork-packet of the $80 million dollar, pre-bid, multiple-unit real estate development deal.
Allegations were also were made that Mayor Curtatone deliberately closed a highway off-ramp of McGrath Highway to deprive local businesses of potential automobile traffic in an attempt to starve them of business after an alleged failed attempt to buy out and take over the business owner’s properties.
Additional allegations were also made and charges being sought against a high-ranking DPW Administrator, a Somerville police captain and two Somerville affiliates of another local news publication the Somerville Times, who allegedly conspired with Mayor Curtatone with multiple allegations of witness intimidation and extortion by attempting to slander the Somerville News Weekly and it’s publishers/contributors at the request of the Mayor – most likely attempting to discredit them and stopping them from publicizing any bad press and exposing damaging information regarding scandals by Mayor Curtatone and his Administration over the past three years, especially during the 2016 election campaign cycle.
The unnamed DPW Administrator, along with the local affiliates of the other news publication including that paper’s publisher, are being accused of allegedly using fictitious social media aliases over the past two years in order to carry out the plan ordered by the Mayor. Coupled with an online assault on social media platforms, various slanderous accusations with the assistance of Michael Browne were published by the two affiliates in their newspaper to further broadcast harassment and fabricated propaganda to intimidate the Somerville News Weekly publisher in exchange for being later compensated by the Mayor with exclusive real estate broker listings to the previously mentioned development deals, as well as the majority of the City of Somerville’s lucrative legal ads for their newspaper – all at the taxpayers expense.
Tauro also alleges that “Selective sponsorship advertising customers of the newspaper publication were also contacted and influenced by Curtatone and were told to not advertise with Tauro’s publications until Tauro stops writing articles exposing Curtatone’s alleged crimes as a further extortionate attempt to have Tauro back off.” “Luckily many of my customers didn’t get scared off by Curtatone’s petty threats, but instead they stayed and had my back!” Tauro said.
The allegations were being brought forward by Tauro and a group of property owners who accuse Mayor Curtatone and the DPW Administrator of attempting to sway multiple real estate deals with abuse of power via an elaborate real estate scheme that involves racketeering and extortion of multi-million dollar land deals in Somerville.
These allegations also involve a former Somerville alderman/local attorney, as well as two former Somerville Ward Aldermen.
It all started back over three years ago with when the Somerville News Weekly first published and exposed the City of Somerville Department of Public Works in a story regarding an article written about an “ALLEGED SOMERVILLE DPW OVERTIME SCANDAL” that involved the DPW Garage repair foreman Michael Browne that lead up to a six part story series on multiple Somerville stalled developments and corruption within the Curtatone Administration.
Tauro stated that “Last year the Boston Herald printed an article showing all Somerville employee’s 2017 earnings. Many employees at the Dpw wanted to know how Mike Browne topped the list at the DPW with earnings over $140,000. Browne earned more than the DPW Commissioner and everyone else at the DPW. His base pay is $70k so he made another $70k in overtime and from what we are hear, he wasn’t even in work for more than half the year due to his alleged Agoraphobia condition. His DPW co-workers are outraged and are assuming that he must have a lot of coverup evidence on Mayor Curtatone to get away with this unless Curtatone is collecting his cut.”
Even with all the overwhelming evidence presented in the Somerville News Weekly “Alleged Somerville DPW Overtime Scandal” story, no arrests, no terminations, or reprimands have been ordered as of yet by the Curtatone Administration.
The penalty for making a death threat to federal witness is depending on the circumstances of the case, witness tampering can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, including: Federal witness intimidation is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Tauro also stated that “ The Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the United States Attorney’s Office of Massachusetts were asked to investigate Mayor Joseph Curtatone’s alleged involvement in the mishandling and illegal tampering of the Somerville Police Department’s municipal hiring list that altered the destinies of over fifty young police candidates as well as bumped slain MIT Police Officer Sean Collier’s position off the list that placed his destiny in the direct path of the Boston Marathon Bombers that resulted in Collier’s murder.
As of Monday, January 14th, the Somerville Police Department has yet to revoke Mike Brown‘s gun permit as of this time.
This story is still developing…