Two very – wait for it – different takes on former Chelsea housing authority honcho Michael McLaughlin in this morning’s Boston papers.
The Globe puts the story in the power position: Page One, upper right.
The former chief of the Chelsea Housing Authority was charged Wednesday with four felony counts of deliberately concealing his inflated salary from state and federal regulators from 2008 until he resigned in 2011, triggering a scandal that has rocked Massachusetts’ public housing system to its foundation.
US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz announced the federal charges against Michael E. McLaughlin, 67, of Dracut, alleging that McLaughlin deliberately underreported his annual salary by up to $164,000 a year in mandatory reports to state and federal housing regulators. The charges were contained in a document that is normally used when the defendant has agreed to plead guilty.
(Explanation of that last: “the charges against [McLaughlin] came not from the grand jury, but in a document called a criminal information. Prosecutors normally file such a document when a defendant agrees to a plea deal.”)
Crosstown at the Herald, the story appears on page two, and from an oblique angle:
Lt. Gov. Tim Murray’s surprise exit from the 2014 governor’s race could be tied to federal charges brought against his one-time associate Michael McLaughlin yesterday for falsely boosting his salary, local politicos speculated.
“It probably reinforces what a lot of people were thinking last week,” said Richard Tisei, a former Republican state senator who ran unsuccessfully for Congress. “The whole McLaughlin scandal would have hobbled any potential run for governor, and it would have lasted during the whole campaign. You can’t go an inch into that story without Tim Murray’s name popping up.”
McLaughlin, the embattled former Chelsea Housing Authority director, was a longtime Murray fundraiser, and there are ongoing questions as to whether he pressured staffers to give to the lieutenant governor’s campaign. Murray reportedly was also questioned by federal investigators.
The Globe waited until the fifth graf to drag Murray into McLaughlin’s mess.