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Zoning-bribery official gets 40 months; judge recommends he serve his time in Devens

Lynch

A federal judge today sentenced former BPDA manager John Lynch of Dorchester to 40 months - a little more than three years - in prison following his admission he let a developer pay him off to arrange a zoning vote the developer needed.

In her sentencing, US District Court Judge Patti Saris urged the federal Bureau of Prisons to imprison Lynch at a federal facility in Devens, "or as close as possible to Massachusetts." In a request for a more lenient sentence, Lynch's attorney had argued that Lynch, 67, suffers from a variety of serious medical conditions and is close to his family.

Lynch, whose job at the BPDA did not involve zoning matters, pleaded guilty in September to accepting $50,000 in payments from developer Steven Turner for his role in getting the Zoning Board of Appeal to give Turner the extension he needed on a small H Street condo project in 2017 to sell it to another developer.

The board at first rejected his request for an extension, because he'd already run out of time on a two-year extension the board had earlier granted him and he failed to appear before the board for his scheduled hearing, but then, two weeks later, voted, with no discussion, to grant him another extension.

According to federal authorities, Lynch used his connection with board member and Dorchester real-estate broker Craig Galvin to arrange the vote.

Neither Turner nor Galvin has been charged, however. Galvin resigned from the zoning board after the story broke. Former ISD Commissioner William Christopher, whose architectural firm worked on Turner's project, also stepped down from his new job coordinating a response to the opioid crisis in the Mass-and-Cass area.

The US Attorney's office in Boston had sought a four-year sentence, arguing in part that if former City Councilor Chuck Turner got three years for taking a $1,000 bribe, then Lynch should get a stiffer sentence for the $50,000 he admitted taking.

Turner allegedly made several payments to Lynch in 2018; federal investigators were alerted to the scheme early enough to be able to take a surveillance photo of at least one of the exchanges.

Sarris ordered Lynch to turn himself in at whichever prison is selected for him on April 15 - and pay restitution of $14,400.

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Comments

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Voting closed 15

To yank his pension, benefits, etc... and wait and wait and wait and wait...

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Voting closed 29

Some guys have all the luck, same time but 49 more thousand than Chuck.

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Voting closed 7

The sentence seems about right, and if John Lynch behaves while locked up, he may end up serving little more than half of the 40 months.

Now it would be nice to learn more about the other actors involved in these schemes; Craig Galvin, Steven Turner and Buddy Christopher. Especially since (coincidentally?) all of them were friends, neighbors, fundraisers or did private business with the mayor -such as buying his former home.

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Voting closed 31

It all leads back to Marty...he nominated Craig to be on the ZBA. I can’t wait to watch him fry...he’s no mayor for life. Gallivan is also ruining Dot with crappy developments.

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Voting closed 25

Federal inmates can earn 54 days off per year. That makes six months. Where do the other 14 or so come from?

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Voting closed 9

...less time because “(he) is close to his family.”
As if this means his crime harmed the city less than if he wasn’t close to his family or as if criminals who aren’t close to their families deserve longer sentences!

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Voting closed 18

as orphans, they can't risk the harsher punishment coming for not having a family near by.

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Voting closed 16

...less time because “(he) is close to his family.”
As if this means his crime harmed the city less than if he wasn’t close to his family or as if criminals who aren’t close to their families deserve longer sentences!

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Voting closed 9

are taking place every day in this city? I hope the feds look more closely at all the other development going on. It seems as though the powers that be in this administration are selling our city for their personal benefit.

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Voting closed 23

This administration? How about every administration in history in every city on the planet.

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Voting closed 4

I remember the US Attorney requested asset forfeiture. I don't see that here. That's disappointing.
The whole BPDA/ZBA, development subject is just plain suspect (I'm being generous). There's no way this guy is the only corrupt mf'er.

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Voting closed 24

That same office was rightfully smacked down hard over that motel in Tewksbury that they were trying to steal.

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Voting closed 4

Asset Forfeiture doesn't have to be associated with a crime.

LOWELL — Lowell resident Rebecca Brown had stowed her father’s life savings — over $82,000 in cash — in a beach bag. But as she tried to board a flight at Pittsburgh International Airport, the money was seized.
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Voting closed 8

The motel was "associated with drug activity", as there had been ODs there.

The Federal DA tried to seize the property, even though there had been even greater levels of opiod mayhem at the adjacent WalMart.

Various organizations fought back and the Feds were spanked hard. https://www.lowellsun.com/2013/01/25/tewksburys-motel-caswell-wins-forfe...

There also was a supreme court verdict 11 months ago that now restrains such activity: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/us/politics/civil-asset-forfeiture-su...

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Voting closed 8

There are hundreds of cases of people having their money and property confiscated without ever being charged with a crime, which was my point. Very few of them ever get it back.

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Voting closed 7

Why aren’t these white collar criminals immediately taken into custody like everyone else?

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Voting closed 3

Everybody who's convicted and sentenced in federal court is given a few months to get their affairs in order or something (except people who are deemed a public-safety or flight risk).

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Voting closed 3

The first local zoning bylaw that was ever enacted was in the City of Boston when they passed a law saying that it
was against the law to build a structure taller than the church in Copley Square. After that zoning caught on like wildfire which led to the 1933 Zoning Enabling Act.
Zoning is a local option, there are still 5 towns out of 351 that do not have Zoning Bylaws. If you have zoning you have to have a Zoning Board of Appeals, which is usually captured by the Chamber of Commerce types.

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Voting closed 7