For more than 35 years, Bob DeLeo has represented the people of Winthrop and our state with great distinction as our selectman, state representative, and Speaker of the House.
Throughout his long career of public service, there never has been even a hint of any sort of wrongdoing or of anything else that even remotely would suggest that Bob has been a public official of anything other than of the highest caliber.
Indeed, when one mentions the name of Bob DeLeo, the term “Boy Scout” comes to mind; there is no one who has risen to his level of power and authority at the State House who has walked a straighter line than Bob DeLeo.
That is why the recent statements by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz casting aspersions on Bob’s character are so disturbing; not because there is a shred of truth to them, but because they are so baseless and apparently are being made solely for the purpose of political grandstanding by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
It is very easy for anyone, including a U.S. Attorney, to make accusations with impunity about a politician or public official because in the public’s eye, everyone in public service is corrupt. Any innuendo about a public official, no matter how groundless it may be, instantly becomes fodder for talk radio and the rumor-mongers in the press without regard to the facts.
Throughout the entire federal trial regarding the former Commissioner of Probation, we (as well as most thinking people) have been wondering, “Where’s the beef?” In other words, while one can question whether the hiring practices of the Probation Department were up to certain standards, there has been no evidence of criminal intent; no one took bribes or payoffs or did anything even remotely of that nature.
It strikes us that the innuendo originating from the U.S. Attorney’s office about Bob DeLeo and others in our state government is a pretext with the purpose of obfuscating its weak case against the former Commissioner of Probation, who by all accounts simply was doing his job as he was directed to do so by others who ranked higher than he in the judiciary.
A press release issued by Bob DeLeo’s office this week sums up our feelings on the matter: “The United States Attorney has knowingly mischaracterized legislators’ testimony as being false merely because the facts did not support her case. What is, or at least should be, criminal is impugning the characters of accomplished and honorable public officials who have devoted their lives to public service on the testimony of a single immunized and non-credible witness.”