By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

An old tale of local corruption — with a modern twist

When we lived in Medford in the early 1980s, the city and neighboring Somerville were both down at the heels. When we returned in 2014, Somerville was vibrant and growing, with Medford not too far behind. So I was fascinated to read Gin Dumcius’ story in CommonWealth Beacon about a politically connected Somerville lawyer’s attempt to bribe Medford’s police chief to help him establish a marijuana business. As Dumcius writes, it was a last hurrah for the old Medford and Somerville.

Unfortunately for the lawyer, Sean O’Donovan, Medford Police Chief Jack Buckley is an honest cop. Buckley’s brother Mike, whom O’Donovan tried to use as the go-between with Chief Buckley, agreed to wear an FBI wire, and O’Donovan was busted after he delivered $2,000 in cash, intended as a down payment on a $25,000 bribe. Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn, Dumcius adds, handled the license for the weed shop in a properly arm’s-length manner.

Times had changed, even if O’Donovan didn’t realize it. He faces sentencing on Feb. 7.

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1 Comment

  1. Ben

    Appreciate Gin’s effort here but Marty Walsh has come away unscathed. I sat on a neighborhood permitting group in Boston where O’Donovan represented a big developer and there was no question his relationship to Walsh was his only attribute. A shame no journalist would have the time to look at all of O’Donovan’s Boston work during the Walsh administration. He went from being non-existent in Boston to prominent very quick.

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