That Illegal Diadamo Lease at the School Department Central Offices in Lawrence

By: Mark Gray – January 2013

What could your city/town do with 500,000 a year? Throw it in the garbage, right?

Isn’t that what all your politicians and elected officials are doing right now in Lawrence with the illegal DiAdamo lease on Essex Street?

What would you do if they were? Would you call them and vote against them?

I think not, because history shows us you haven’t in the past.

It seems like every week I listen to the Paying Attention Radio show with Tom Duggan on 980WCAP and hear how the public is informed of example after example on how the politicians have an in your face attitude about how taxpayer money is wasted

You might as well use that money for lighting cigarettes than what it’s being used for now.

And I’m going to give you yet another shining example, and lay blame to all the enablers and politicians who look the other way in their ‘pay to play world’ of screw you politics while shafting you, the tax paying public. Hey, you deserve it after all, because you reelect these clowns year after year with no accountability.

On May 25, 2010, the Lawrence School Committee sent a letter addressed to the Law Firm of DiAdamo and DiAdamo, who leases an Office Building on Essex Street to the Lawrence School System’s for their central office operations.

This letter was sent at the insistence of one member in particular who was dead set against paying a cool $500,000 of your tax money for the illegal lease of a building when the city and the schools own plenty of abandoned properties that the Lawrence central office could move into without costing the tax payers a dime.

The letter raised the issue of the ten year lease not being legal. The attorney was asked to discuss the matter. On February 13, 2011 this item was requested to be put back on the agenda since there had been no response from the attorney. The mayor refused to put the item on the agenda. The school committee didn’t have the courage or the welfare of the public at heart to challenge him when the issue was forced on the table for a vote.

Although it’s significant that the last and current school committee have no interest in putting your tax dollars to good use, it is also interesting what happened between the letter submission and the agenda item request.

The attorney(s) DiAdamo represented the mayor personally in a case involving a restraining order.

The same mayor who had control of the $500,000 lease being put on the agenda. The same person who could address the issue of an illegal lease and the same person who did not allow discussion AFTER receiving legal council from this law firm.

So, what’s the deal with the illegal DiAdamo lease?

By law, the maximum time that a contract can go without a battery of approvals by the city is three years. There can be a contract made up to 10 years but it would have to go through a lengthy approval process by the city council and other agencies. Two of the authorities that would have to approve this 10 year lease would be the school committee and the city council, which DID NOT approve the contract.

Point two, besides ignoring state laws and ignoring approval from governing authorities, on November 20, 2003, the contract was signed which at best puts the lease up for renewal this year. But the start date of the contract continued to change as the contract was amended more than once.

On March 1, 2004 (which was after the lease was signed), the contract states that the terms of the lease would last 10 years and 10 months, which is not legal because it exceeds the maximum time frame allowed by law.

Something I learned when ‘Independent’ Tim Cahill was running for governor and this ten year lease of a building became an issue for him and the State Lottery.

The signatures, without the authority of the school committee, the city council and to my knowledge the state, were signed in November of 2003, by the now convicted former superintendent Laboy, and former Lawrence Mayor, Michael Sullivan. .

Neither of them listened to people who warned them about the school system budget and contracts which accounts for about 2/3 the city’s overall budget expenditures.

So, I’ve been very vocal on this issue because it’s our money.

I blame the politicians; Laboy, Sullivan, the school committee and the city council, because they know about this illegal contract and have looked the other way and could care less. It’s the pay to play system you voters support every year at election time. And you should blame them, but you should also blame yourselves. But, you probably won’t remember this come fall when you will undoubtedly re elect them.

Other cities and towns should take notice though, it’s their state tax money paying for all these illegal contracts and pay for play politics in the City of Lawrence. But we also need to blame their politicians in surrounding communities, because their money goes into Lawrence, and again, they know about all of this, and yet, continue to do nothing about it.

So, to come full circle you don’t really want to keep your own the money, you’d rather just throw it in the garbage. Right?