Here’s what is behind it. Attorney Ortiz was appointed as Boston’s U.S. attorney. Shortly after she was in that office and before she had really gotten her feet wet the people at the Globe decided that it would be nice if they could get her to do their bidding. They came up with the idea of naming her “Bostonian of the Year.” which they did on December 30, 2011, about two years after she was appointed. That would be a feather in her hat
Ortiz had really done nothing to merit the Bostonian of the Year pick. A look at the prior nominations showed what an outlier it was. Unlike her, all the others had made significant public and well-known contributions of their own: 2004 Theo Epstein; 2005 Judge Edward Ginsberg; 2006 Deval Patrick; 2007 Bruce Marks (executive director of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA)) , Paul Pierce, Elizabeth Warren, and Scott Brown. Ortiz’s big accomplishment was convincing Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry that it would be nice for a woman from a minority group to take over that office.
The Globe continued to keep up with her. It would tell us on December 7, 2012, that she might be the next governor in Massachusetts. We all know that dream came to an abrupt halt about a month later when the lid was lifted on the way her office operated with the death of Aaron Swartz.
But the Globe had come through with its side of the bargain to push her into public notice so it still expected her to come through with her part which was being grateful to the Globe for having done so. She could show her gratitude by following up on Globe stories with federal prosecutions.
This she did and continues to do. We all know how the Globe was incensed that John O’Brien the former Commissioner of Probation was giving out jobs to people recommended by judges and legislatures. It demanded that the federal investigate. Ortiz did and came down with a charge against O’Brien for racketeering alleging he and two of his assistants ran an illegal enterprise which gave jobs based on patronage. They faced twenty years in prison even though none had a criminal record.
The Globe then went after the owner of a taxi company where it alleged “fleet owners get rich, drivers are frequently fleeced, and the city does little about it.” It told about Edward J. Tutunjian, “a onetime cabbie who began buying taxi licenses 40 years ago, is the king of Boston’s taxi industry.” It did not allege he had committed any crimes; it just said that he wasn’t treating his taxi drivers the way the Globe thought they should be treated. Everyone yawned at the story. The city continued to do nothing.
The Globe saw its big Spotlight Investigation amounting to a storm in a kettle. Then, well here is what the Globe wrote, “Internal Revenue Service agents executed a federal search warrant Friday at the headquarters of Boston Cab, the largest taxi company in the city and the focus of a recent Globe Spotlight Team investigation that found widespread exploitation in the industry. The agents, who were accompanied by Boston and Cambridge police officers and agents from the US Secret Service and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General, descended on the Kilmarnock Street garage around 3 p.m. The IRS agents entered the garage with guns drawn, according to a cabbie who witnessed the raid. “Hands up,” the driver heard them say. . . . Jessica Crocker, an IRS agent and spokeswoman for the agency’s Boston office, said the IRS was “conducting a court-authorized operation” but referred all other questions to the office of US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.”
Ortiz was really going overboard for the paper. Nowhere in the Spotlight article was there any allegation the owner of the cab company did anything illegal. That raid happened almost three years ago and there has been no follow-up.
Now she’s at it again. The Globe has been writing about Senator Brian A. Joyce from Norfolk County. It noted the Globe has had him “under fire for alleged ethical lapses, including accepting free or discounted services and charging his campaign fund for a family party. So what happens: “more than a dozen FBI agents entered . . . [his] law office building in downtown Canton”
Kristen Setera, an FBI spokeswoman, said “The FBI and the IRS are conducting court-authorized activity in connection with an ongoing investigation.” It may have been more correct to say it was a Globe authorized activity in connection with a newspapers allegations.
I know Joyce as well as I know Kim Jong-un. For all I know he may have misspent his campaign funds in a blatant manner hosting his kid’s graduation party; Jerry Richman, may have given Joyce free dry cleaning for more than a decade starting in 1997. (That would be beyond any statute of limitations.); or he may have done other things a state politician should not have done. Joyce is under investigation by state authorities as he should be. The state should be allowed to police its own house and officials.
The big problem is that because of the Globe’s vendetta against Joyce it seems Carmen Ortiz has stepped in to do its dirty work. I’m sure that she and her staff can come up with some type of federal violation to pin on Joyce. There are so many everyday acts that are federal crimes that if the feds want to get you they can.
But how tawdry is the federal prosecutor’s office when it is operating not in the interests of justice but of a private enterprise.