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Discussions of what any "conflicts of interest" in town. Business owners involved in town politics and not disclosing facts such as this, etc.

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Postby tigerchief on Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:52 pm

Article Launched: 6/05/2006 04:53 PM


BREAKING NEWS O'NEILL WINS DEFAMATION CASE VS. FORMER TEWKSBURY SELECTMAN

By LISA REDMOND, Sun Staff
Lowell Sun

LOWELL - Former Tewksbury labor counsel Richard O'Neill Jr. is claiming a "moral victory'' after a jury decided that former Tewksbury selectman Kevin Anderson defamed O'Neill in two local papers in 2000 and 2001.

After a week-long trial, a Lowell Superior Court jury on Monday took less than two hours to reach a verdict that Anderson made false and defamatory statements about O'Neill. Although the jury decided that O'Neill, was a public figure, those statements were made with "reckless disregard for the truth,'' according to the verdict.

The jury, however, did not award O'Neill any money.

Attorney Samuel Perkins, Anderson's attorney, claimed this as a "defendant's verdict'' because there were no damages awarded. He claimed that lawsuit was O'Neill's attempt to muzzle Anderson's free speech.

But an elated O'Neill said after the verdict, "This was never about the money. I couldn't have cared less about the money.

"This was an issue of my reputation,'' O'Neill said. "I've claimed from day one that he lied and he knew he lied, and the jury agreed. I've waited a long time for this.''

Read tomorrow's Sun for more details on this breaking story.
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Postby swamper on Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:59 pm

From the "don't always believe everything you read in the newspaper dept."....here is the rest of the article from today's Sun.
Give me a break! ....makes it sound like O'Neill "won" even though the monetary compensation wasn't awarded making the defense the winner. Anyone who knows anything about the politics in this town knows that conflicts of interest, either blatant or just under the radar have always existed. Anderson just called him out on it. I'm sure the great rotund one was falling all over himself to tackle that reporter FIRST so everyone would know he was "vindicated" ala shades of Joe Gill. [img]images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]


Jury: Ex-Tewksbury official lied
By LISA REDMOND, Sun Staff

LOWELL -- Former Tewksbury labor counsel Richard O'Neill Jr. is claiming a "moral victory'' after a jury decided former Tewksbury Selectman Kevin Anderson defamed O'Neill in two local newspapers in 2000 and 2001.

After a weeklong trial, a Lowell Superior Court jury yesterday took less than two hours to reach a verdict that Anderson made false and defamatory statements about O'Neill.

Although the jury decided that O'Neill was a public figure and thus held to a higher standard, Anderson's statements were made with "reckless disregard for the truth,'' according to the verdict.

The jury, however, did not award O'Neill any money.

Samuel Perkins, Anderson's attorney, claimed the ruling a "defendant's verdict'' because there were no damages awarded. He claimed the lawsuit was O'Neill's attempt to muzzle Anderson's free speech.

But an elated O'Neill said after the verdict, "This was never about the money. I couldn't have cared less about the money. This was an issue of my reputation. I've claimed from day one that he lied and he knew he lied, and the jury agreed. I've waited a long time for this.''

The lawsuit, filed in 2002, claimed Anderson slandered O'Neill in statements he made to the Tewksbury Advocate and Town Crier. Anderson suggested that O'Neill pressured town department heads into favorable treatment for his private clients through his "power to affect the salaries and benefits of department heads.''

Perkins told the jury the newspaper quote is a "garbled statement'' that is "confusing and incorrect. ... It is virtually meaningless.''

But attorney Paul Needham, representing O'Neill, told the jury the statement was false because he knew O'Neill had "nothing to do with people's raises.''

Salaries are set by the Board of Selectmen, which makes a recommendation to Town Meeting


for funding, which Anderson, who was running for a seat on the board, knew.

Anderson said any comments he made stemmed from a 1995 meeting of the Tewksbury department heads during which O'Neill countermanded the selectmen's decision during a decision on compensatory time for department heads.

O'Neill denies being at that meeting.

At the time of the article, O'Neill served as a special municipal employee, a status that allowed him to work for both the town and private clients. He represented some of those clients before town boards, and some clients even sued the town.

Anderson had been a long-standing and vocal opponent of the arrangement. Needham argued that Anderson was trying to suggest that he would clean up the town if he was elected selectman. The town election was held two days after the article was published, and Anderson won a seat.

Needham told the jury that Anderson portrayed O'Neill as "unethical'' and damaged his reputation in a town where he lives and works.

O'Neill, through his attorney, sought a retraction in 2001, but Anderson refused.

O'Neill admitted there was no way to calculate the damage to his reputation. While no longer serving as an attorney representing the town, O'Neill is a successful lawyer who represents some of the largest developers in Tewksbury.

"I've got my reputation back,'' O'Neill said.

Lisa Redmond's e-mail address is lredmond@lowellsun.com.
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Postby tigerchief on Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:06 pm

""I've got my reputation back,'' O'Neill said."

What a GREAT closing line!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby swamper on Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:21 pm

....like that's a GOOD thing??? ...lol
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Postby atlantis on Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:01 pm

A week long trial? How much did O'Neil screw the tax payers out of THIS time?
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Postby peace in the valley on Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:11 am

More breaking news! Speaking of screwing the taxpayers, heres your update.#1 THE STATE VS. MCLAUGHLIN (Police Dispatcher/Chief's Brother-Inlaw) June 15TH. trial date rescheduled for 06/20/06, Middlesex Superior, Cambridge, 2PM. Fired Officer #1 still happily employed with Lowell PD. training courtesy of Tewksbury, #2 currently awaiting Civil Service decision, #3 Awaiting court date, #4 Still out on paid leave, awaiting hearing date. If findings are favorable, Town will pay for these mistakes.#5 no suspension, rehab only. Looks like our Chief is spending lot of time in Boston. Did I hear a vote of no confidence. "Who's watching our tax dollars, who's the weakest link"?
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Postby Town Queen on Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:34 pm

Is the actual trial going to start June 20th? Why did it not start today?
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Postby nana8 on Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:53 pm

Valley guy........you need to verify your information!!!!!!!!!!! Facts are incorrect!!!
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Postby Town Queen on Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:07 pm

Nana8, why don't you try to correct the facts and enlighten the rest of us?
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Postby nana8 on Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:12 pm

Testy aren't we????
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Postby Town Queen on Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:45 pm

Yet, still no answers from Nana8. Why would you say there are errors and not correct them? Seriously, do you know which posts are incorrect? Some of us are trying to get accurate information from this board.
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Postby tsantora on Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:42 pm

Please tell us, I have Jury duty 6/20 in Cambridge...hhhmmmm.
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Postby moretpani on Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:11 pm

People, people please leave nana alone.
She is way to busy celebrating her victory over the little school kids.
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Postby nana8 on Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:21 pm

Tell you what people, I wouldn't spread anything I do not know the full facts of! Maybe you all should go to the food pantry or to a nursing home, spend some of your aggression on people in need. This is not a gossip sheet, stick to what you know to be right and just. Spread a few prayers, it's better for you in the long run!!!!!
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Postby 12345 on Fri Jun 16, 2006 4:42 pm

Ok ladies and gentlemen.....first of all, nana8 is correct on the fact that Valley guy has incorrect information. Secondly, some of the information you people are requesting is none of your business...I know....you all feel that everything is your business...well guess what...IT'S NOT!!! I'm glad nana8 didn't cave in and give you information that is not of your concern....I agree that some of you people should direct your energies elsewhere....
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