-By Seth Daniel
The last remaining vestiges of the once-controversial drain laying saga in the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) has been decided by a Suffolk Superior Court judge and has vindicated the DPW’s Joe Maglione – who at the height of the situation was once suspended from his job and accused of taking bribes.
Judge Geraldine Hines, justice of the Suffolk Superior Court, ruled in favor of Maglione in the civil suit and awarded him $110,700 in damages and attorney fees, all at the expense of his former accusers – former DPW workers Randy Adamson and Anthony Giannino.
She also indicated that Maglione was targeted and accused because he had tried to do the right thing.
“This court ruling completely vindicates Mr. Maglione,” said his attorney, William Spallina, in a statement. “In this case we alleged that the defendants engaged in a scheme to harm Mr. Maglione, a scheme that included falsely accusing him of crimes and lying under oath about it at the Ethics Commission proceedings. The Ethics Commission should have realized that. The court realized it. The court has said that that if you set out to deliberately harm someone by falsely accusing them of a crime and lying under oath about it, you will be held accountable and the price you will pay will be a steep one.”
After a separate controversy about Adamson and Giannino performing private jobs while working for the City, the situation morphed into an accusation of bribery and shady dealings.
Adamson and Giannino told the State Ethics Commission that they had given bribes to Maglione so that he would approve their private drain laying jobs. Maglione was – at the time – the City’s Water Facilities Director and was in charge of permitting such projects.
Maglione was forced to defend himself in a long and protracted Ethics Commission Hearing in Boston – one that brought boatloads of City officials and elected officials to the witness stand to give testimony. Even reporters from the Journal were called to testify under oath.
In the end, the Commission vindicated Maglione, but without any harsh wording against his accusers.
Last year, the City settled with Maglione to pay him $25,000 for overtime work that he missed out on while on suspension from his job.
As part of the recent ruling, however, Judge Hines pointed out that the City did not go far enough and that Adamson and Giannino should pay the difference.
“His losses during the suspension amount to approximately $68,200,” read the decision. “The City of Revere has paid the plaintiff $25,000, leaving a shortfall of $43,200 which is assessed against. . . the defendants.”
The judge also levied a $25,000 payment to go to Maglione and his family for emotional distress caused by media attention to the bribery allegations.
“Plaintiff submitted for the court’s review a compilation of media reports, which over a period of two years, portrayed him as a corrupt public employee,” read the report. “This media barrage fed by the defendants’ allegations caused the plaintiff and his family severe emotional distress. Medical records indicate that the plaintiff received treatment for anxiety during this period. Emotional distress damages are assessed in the amount of $25,000.”
Additionally, the court awarded Maglione attorney fees of $40,760 and $1,740 in expenses.
The recent Civil Trial seems to have been another foray into the ridiculous, where at one point last September, both Adamson and Giannino actually failed to report to the court for a jury trial.
When evidence was presented, the judge indicated that Giannino and Adamson couldn’t keep their stories straight. Their testimony changed several times on key facts, including the amount and the frequency of the alleged bribes.
In the end, the judge gave their side of the story zero credibility.
“The defendants alleged in various public settings and government proceedings that Maglione solicited and accepted bribes and kickbacks from them that were related to their work on ‘private jobs’ not authorized under their employment with the DPW,” read the decision. “The defendants, without regard for the truth, made these allegations in retaliation for Maglione’s role in reporting their unauthorized work on private jobs to municipal authorities…Maglione offered credible evidence that he objected to the private work at issue and never sought or received any payments.”
Maglione first filed the civil suit in February 2009.