MONDAY MORNING UPDATE:
In the latest news about the ZBA bribery scandal, the Boston Globe reported late on Sunday night, that Craig Galvin, a Dorchester realtor and member of the Zoning Board of Appeal has resigned from the board.
The sweater is starting to unravel pretty quickly as the Globe keeps uncovering more details in the ZBA bribery scandal. On Friday evening, it was revealed that Buddy Christopher, a top aide to Mayor Marty Walsh and former head of the City of Boston Inspectional Services Department (ISD) has stepped down temporarily during the investigation. The ISD is the agency that that makes recommendations on permits and variances to the zoning board. According to the Globe, Christopher was the original architect on the development project at the center of this case. You can read all about this mess here. We’re sure more is going to come out in this scandal. So stay tuned.
A bribery scandal emerged last week involving a former City of Boston employee, a local developer and a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and $50,000. On Friday morning, the Boston Globe is revealing more details on the property in question and the connection between two Dorchester residents in relation to this case.
John M. Lynch, 66, from Dorchester, resigned from his position at the City of Boston’s EDIC (Economic Development Industrial Corporation) in August and pled guilty to accepting a bribe from a local developer, Steven Turner. Evidently, he bribe was for help sway the vote of the Zoning Board of Appeals to support a change that helped the developer get his project approved.the development is 27-29 H Street in South Boston.
What was revealed in Friday’s article in the Boston Globe
Reporters Milton J. Valencia and Tim Logan wrote that the project at 27-29 H Street was initially rejected by the majority ZBA members for a permit extension. ZBA member, Craig Galvin, a real estate agent from Dorchester, voted against the denial. One board member abstained from voting.
Two weeks later the same request for an extension reappeared on the ZBA agenda. Galvin then made a motion to extend the permit. This time, everyone on the board approved the request. A board member(same as before) abstained in voting. After this important and very shady vote – the value of the H Street property increased by $500,000. Then, according to the Globe, Turner sold it in January 2018 to a different firm for $3.2 million which was twice what he had paid nearly four years prior. Yes, that’s right, shenanigans.
But wait, there’s more…
The Globe goes on to report, that Lynch and Galvin have a business relationship:
“Last year, Lynch built a duplex condo building on a property next door to his home on Ashland Street in Dorchester, with the two units selling for nearly $1.5 million. Galvin’s real estate firm, the Galvin Group, said on its website that it served as a consultant to Lynch’s project. It also served as the listing agent for the sale of the condos, according to the listings on Zillow and Redfin and Galvin’s own site.”
Although the ZBA board member has not yet been revealed in the case, court records did reveal that Lynch and a board member had know each other on a personal and professional level. So we’re assuming that the Globe is making the connection between Lynch and Galvin but not stating that Galvin is in fact involved in the bribery case.
Early this week, Mayor Marty Walsh announced that there will be a review of the city’s ZBA and its processes.
We have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Image via architect’s rendering