I would also like to commend the reporter, Mr. Michael Rezendez, who showed total professionalism in how he conducted the interview, and for his impartial reporting of the information I provided him during our 2 ½ hour interview. Personally, I was very happy to speak with him, and felt a tremendous sense of relief that this information was finally getting out to the voters.
In 1995 I was involved with a company that was in trouble – we had met hard times, and there was no money. After filing personal bankruptcy I, along with a new partner, started a new business from scratch. In an effort to destroy our new company, my original partner contacted the bankruptcy court notifying them that I had neglected to disclose certain assets during the bankruptcy proceedings. After a thorough investigation, however, the court found that my name was not on the company in question, and so, there were no additional assets and no bankruptcy fraud.
The bankruptcy court dismissed the case which meant that I still owed the debtors $63,000 (not $250,000 as reported in the Globe). I was responsible for all debtors myself.
After this fraud scheme backfired, my now ex-partner then devised a plan where she created a fictional bid with the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). She then pressured me and our biggest competitor to bid high on the project, allowing her company to win the bid. This constituted bid-rigging.
The company plead guilty to one charge even though the bid was setup by the LIRR and my previous partner. However, no harm was caused to the LIRR. My competitor also plead guilty. And again, after another thorough investigation, the courts found no other problem bids that may have needed their attention. In an effort to get the matter behind us as expeditiously as possible, the company paid the fine of $48,000. This matter is far behind us now and both my company and my competitor’s company are still in business and doing just fine. My ex-partner’s business folded long ago after she filed for both personal and business bankruptcy.
This is the same person who accused me of threatening to kill her “with a .38 to the head.” I have never owned a gun in my life, and I strongly deny ever having threatened her.
About three weeks ago, I received a call from the Boston Globe asking me to comment on the story about the Mayor and the car accident. I responded at that time that I did not have any intention of discussing the incident. They then called me again last week, requesting an interview, which I agreed to.
I reiterated to the reporter that I was not there to discuss the car accident; that I was only there to talk about myself. During the interview we discussed the many projects within the city I have been involved in: the War Memorial, the athletic field, tennis courts, etc… We also discussed the many reasons why I am running for Mayor – my love for the city being number one on the list.
Near the end of the interview the reporter asked about my past and I willingly told him everything. He asked if this was “on the record,” and I insisted that it needed to be. I believe the people of Woburn need to know exactly who they are voting for, and that is why I am coming out with all of this now. I wanted to do this when I first decided to run, but was advised against it.
I now believe the best thing for the citizens of Woburn is to stay focused on the list of important issues and not get distracted by these stories. We should not waste our time rehashing these events. Instead we should look at the issues and decide who we honestly believe is going to get the job done in the next few years. There is a lot of work to get done in a very small amount of time. I am prepared to put everything I have into this job, and I promise you that I will get the job done.
I am always willing to discuss any of these issues about my past. I prefer to leave them there – in the past. But I will never hide from them and I will always make myself available to anyone who would like to discuss them.
I am very proud of my career, growing up with very little in the South End of Woburn that I still love dearly, to now being in a position to give back to the city that I have always called home. I would like to once again thank my loving wife Kathy, our 3 children, all of my supporters and friends for standing by me through this entire process of being Truthful, Trustworthy and Transparent.
- John Flaherty