Both of the city’s mayoral candidates had their pasts thrust into the spotlight following a front page Sunday Boston Globe article titled “Woburn’s mayoral choice: bad or worse?”
The Globe spoke to challenger John Flaherty, who was twice found to have threatened to kill someone over the telephone, according to the newspaper.
“I’m not trying to hide my past," Flaherty told the newspaper. "And people should know what they’re getting."
But much of the article centers around Mayor Scott Galvin’s motor vehicle accident, which took place while he was driving a city-owned vehicle on October 19, 2011.
Though the police report, which is a public document available to any resident upon request, indicates that the accident was nothing more than a standard crash between Galvin and Malden resident Wendy Zouinka, the Globe article reveals that several pieces of standard protocol were not followed.
Galvin was driving home from a Woburn Business Association dinner, where he told the Globe he drank one glass of wine. He was not, however, given a Breathalyzer test following the crash, which the newspaper reported is required for any Woburn employee involved in a crash in a city-owned vehicle.
In addition, Galvin told the Globe that the totaled vehicle was taken to acting Superintendent of Public Works Tucker Quinn’s home, which Galvin admitted was done following a policy that he later told city officials “should end.”
Multiple attempts by Patch to reach the mayor on this subject have been unsuccessful in recent weeks. Police Chief Robert Ferullo, who came across the accident that night, declined initial comment and said Sunday he had nothing to add in addition to his comments in the Boston Globe article.
During an interview with Patch last week, Zouinka, the driver of the second car in the crash, said she was found at fault. A teacher, Zouinka said her insurance paid for $10,000 in repairs to her 2004 Ford Explorer. But about two months after the accident the repairs started failing and she was forced to buy a new vehicle.
Despite living outside of Woburn, Zouinka has heard the rumors that persisted about the crash. During the weeks following the October 19, she received many calls from people she called “bell ringers” that would not leave their name. Zouinka said the calls were scary, and caused concern for her children.
The Malden resident said she can not form an opinion on whether or not she believed Galvin was under the influence of alcohol that night. Zouinka said Galvin stayed at his vehicle and she stayed at hers, and added that Galvin was only on scene after the crash for a few minutes before he was driven home.
“The whole situation was terrible and caused a lot of stress,” said Zouinka. “It just is hard because he was so shady about the whole thing. I’m not looking to get anything out of this. I think it’s just a shady situation if a person in his position didn’t follow procedure.”
Zouinka maintained a lawyer until late this summer, when she let him go for “personal reasons.” She said she still is within the timeframe to file any potential legal action, but she doesn’t have any immediate plans to do so.
Following the crash, Zouinka said she still suffers from some numbness in her left shoulder and arm. The other passenger in the vehicle, a friend of Zouinka’s from Georgia, did not suffer any injuries during the crash.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions for me,” said Zouinka. “But I don’t want a big scandal. It was scary for me, but it is what it is. I can’t do anything about it.”