THE REVERE ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2023 Page 13 Supt.’s Communications Director double-dipped with Leader Herald newspaper O’Connor’s Admissions Prove Clear Violation of Confl ict of Interest Laws By James Mitchell (Editor’s Note: This article was published in the May 12, 2023 edition of the Everett Advocate) It’s only a conflict if you get caught Longtime Everett Public Schools Communications Coordinator David O’Connor admitted this in his deposition to the mayor’s attorney in the defamation lawsuit that he worked for two years as an employee for the Everett Leader Herald newspaper and the School Department under former Supt. Frederick Foresteire and admitted to his former employment to current Supt. of Schools Priya Tahiliani, in clear violation of confl ict of interest laws. O’Connor, who began his career on the city payroll as a clerk typist under Forestiere in 2012, clearly violated Mass. Confl ict of Interest Laws, including Chapter 268A, Chapter 17, Conduct of Public Offi cials and Employees, where a municipal employee receives compensation from other than a municipality, in this case, a local newspaper. O’Connor never admitted to the School Committee, the State Ethics Commission or the people of Everett that he was being paid as an employee of the Leader Herald whole working for the City of Everett. O’Connor even admitted to leaving his years of employment from 2017 to 2019 with the Leader Herald off his LinkedIn page, agreeing with Atty. Jeff rey Robbins that it would not have looked good listing both Leader Herald and School Department. Plenty to see here, folks O’Connor was presented a Sept. 14, 2021, email where he showed concern over Tahiliani’s 2020-2021 Superintendent Evaluation where she was graded as Profi cient by the School Committee, advised corrupt Leader Herald publisher Josh Resnek that if he was to write a story on the evaluation, to just “leave this alone,” ending his email with, “I’m not pretending this is gold because it’s not. But maybe if it’s presented in a certain way….” And as in a “certain way,” Resnek published a glowing front page, large type headline article that Tahiliani received high marks as superintendent when in fact she received just a profi cient grade by the School Committee. O’Connor was also aware that the surveillance cameras that Tahiliani claimed in a lawsuit were installed by the mayor were, in fact, not installed by the mayor but by former Supt. Forestiere over a decade ago prior to her taking the supt.’s position, but would neither question nor inform Tahiliani’s motivation or allegations of spying by the mayor. The cameras were installed by Forestiere to catch a custodian who was using the computer to fi nd information on fellow employees. After an Arlington security company installed the cameras, they were disconnected a week later after catching the employee – well over a decade ago. Tahiliani fi led a lawsuit, one of two against the mayor and the City of Everett, which would be supported by Resnek’s infl ammatory articles supporting the bogus allegations. O’Connor, who was promoted by Tahiliani as her Communications Coordinator, knew the situation regarding the cameras but stood by while Resnek used the information for stories in the Everett Leader Herald claiming the mayor had installed the cameras. Ethics? What ethics? Atty. Jeff rey Robbins questioned O’Connor’s ethics as to why he chose to ignore the facts and stand idly by as students held demonstrations as Tahiliani made false accusations despite his knowledge about the cameras. “…in all those months, for every day that you have access to her, you were never curious to ask her, do you have any evidence at all to make that charge?” asked Atty. Robbins about Tahiliani’s lawsuit. “No, I did not,” replied O’Connor. “Well, is your job – is one of your jobs as the communications coordinator for the Everett school system and the superintendent to know the facts relating to issues – public issues about the Everett school system?” asked the attorney. “Yes,” he said. “And you didn't want to see if you could ascertain the facts about whether or not the superintendent's charges were false?” “No, I did not,” replied O’Connor. O’Connor was then asked if he believes integrity is an important quality in a superintendent; and that being a model for the students is just as important. O’Connor agreed. “And you would not want to have, as the leader of the students of the school system in the City of Everett, somebody who made dishonest or false charges; correct?” asked Robbins. “Correct,” answered O’Connor. According to O’Connor, he informed Tahiliani that he was working for the Leader Herald in 2020 and that she didn’t ask him to disclose his relationship with the newspaper to the Ethics Commission, and especially, the Everett School Committee. “Did she tell you to disclose this to anyone?” asked the attorney. “No.” Keeping their secrets Questioning turned to an email exhibit between O’Connor and the corrupt Leader Herald publisher Resnek. In the back-andforth emails between the two, Resnek, upset over O’Connor quitting as the paper’s page designer, hassles O’Connor into believing that the mayor will be celebrating O’Connor’s departure, stating in the email as he imagines the mayor saying, “There’s the Irish for you. They suck. They don’t stand with each other. I made him quit – and it cost him – and I’m [expletive] happy.” Resnek ends his desperate email with, “How does he [mayor] know what you’re doing in the fi rst place?” The mayor didn’t, as it was a secret only O’Connor, Philbin, Resnek, Forestiere and Tahiliani knew. Atty. Robbins asked O’Connor why he left the part-time, $300/ week newspaper job; O’Connor stated that he thought it was best for the Everett school system, as an option and optically. Resnek off ered O’Connor the position when Philbin took control of the newspaper after his father, Andrew Philbin, Sr. purchased it in 2017. Robbins pointed out the irony of Resnek, a self-proclaimed investigative reporter who writes about

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