In part one published yesterday I explained how Patricia Campatelli was globbered. I mentioned in passing John J. O’Brien who is presently on trial in federal court in Boston. He too was globbered. He lost his job, was indicted by the attorney general and the federal prosecutors. He has already been acquitted by a jury of the attorney general’s charge. Now he’s hoping for the best in the federal trial.
To appreciate the globbering she has taken and to understand the danger she is in, you only have to read the first line of a March 10, 2014, article in the Globe which reads: “Patricia Campatelli often worked only 15 hours a week at her $122,500-a-year job as Suffolk County register of probate, and she spent much of that time taking “numerous smoking breaks, scratching lottery tickets, looking at East Boston real estate on the Internet, and filling out puzzles,” according to employees quoted in a confidential report obtained by the Globe.”
The employees are not named so there is no way to know whether they made those statements or whether they have any basis for them. Nor do we know whether employees who supported Campatelli were interviewed. But for a newspaper in the process of globbering that doesn’t matter as long as it advances its goal.
Here the Globe has been given a confidential report and highlighted it in its newspaper. It would seem someone would want to know how the Globe came in possession of that report. Is the attorney general or the court going to investigate whether it was slipped to it by court officials? You know the answer, once a person is globbered everyone gains up against them and eyes are shut to any injustice against them.
As we’ve seen with O’Brien, when I say everyone I include the federal prosecutors who seem always anxious to seek favor with the Globe. I have to guess that they will want to act against her. After all we must remember that the chief federal prosecutor was named Bostonian of the Year by the Globe. She was as deserving of that as President Obama was of the Nobel Peace Prize.
“No Way”! You may be thinking. There’s no federal crime here. If there is a crime which is doubtful, this is strictly a state matter.
I’ll remind you when the John O’Brien matter first surfaced you had the same reaction. You forget what people used to say when someone overreacted to a happening: “don’t make a federal case out of it.” Knowing about the O’Brien case you must know that you cannot underestimate the ingenuity of federal prosecutors.
In O’Brien they used the mail fraud statute to make it a federal offense. The fraud was the words in the mailed letters which told applicants for jobs that they were not going to get them. The jobs went to others who had better connections to judges and the legislators. The prosecutors decided that should not have happened.
To have racketeering you need to have at least two specified crimes to be part of it; in O’Brien they decided that each rejection letter that was sent was considered a distinct criminal act. Each time such a letter over O’Brien’s signature was dropped in the U.S. mail the prosecutors aver he committed mail fraud, a crime punishable by 20 years in prison. In one sense they made O’Brien, a guy in his fifties without a criminal record, into a person as bad as Whitey Bulger who also was charged with racketeering.
“All right,” you think. “they pulled’ mail fraud out of the hat to ingratiate themselves with the Globe. They don’t have that with Campatelli.”
I agree mail fraud is out but don’t sell them short. The Globe has already put out the theory that it hopes they will follow. They can use the money laundering statute. Here’s how they may play it out.
They can portray Campatelli as a bad person. She smoked, gambled, drank alcohol, and probably cussed a little. During working hours she took smoking breaks, scratched lottery tickets and used the internet for personal matters. We don’t know yet if she had one or two alcoholic beverages during lunch break but the federals will dig into this. This all means that she won’t make a good appearance before a jury after all this is spelled out. None of it has anything to do with the crime but it always helps a prosecutor to show a defendant has bad habits.
She was paid a little over 122 grand a year by the Commonwealth. She didn’t earn the money for the reasons set out by the Globe because she didn’t work even half of the time for which she was paid.
This means each month over half of her pay check she did not earn. Yet, knowing this, she nevertheless took her check and deposited it in the bank. Each time she did this she was stealing from the Commonwealth which is entitled to a full day’s work for a full day’s pay.
Therefore at least half of the money she put in the bank each month was stolen money. It was procured illegally and by fraud. The money was deposited in the federal bank system. That is money laundering – using the federal banking system to process illegal money. Like with mail fraud, Campatelli will face up to 20 years for each offense and money laundering if done two times or more can be an underlying offense for racketeering.
As I see it maybe the only decision left for the prosecutors is to decide whether to charge her for each month she deposited a check in the bank or just lump them together into three or six month periods.
It’s amazing that a Christmas party could result in such a devastating outcome for Ms Campatelli. No matter what her foibles there is no way she should have been ganged up on like this. She’s globbered even though she has not had a chance to tell her side of the story. But that of course is the purpose of it, to quickly blacken a person so badly that there is no way to gain redemption.
Nothing should be clearer than that when you recognize that the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) knowing she has had no ability to defend herself by confronting the people who have spoken out against her and presenting evidence that contradicts them before an impartial tribunal overrules the will of her electors and allows her to be suspended from office. This is truly shabby justice that a woman elected to office who has not committed nor is accused of committing any criminal acts can lose her position because of untested rumors. That clearly shows how effective globbering can be that clear injustice can pass as a noble act.