Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chair of Middleboro Selectmen & leading advocate for Mashpee Wampanoag casino plan resigns

Adam Bond, Chairman of the Middleboro Board of Selectmen resigned this week. He cited the influence of tribal interests on the rest of the Board as a primary reason.

Click the arrow to watch Bond's resignation speech

Bond was tied to plans advanced by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and its developers Herb Strather, Sol Kerzner and Len Wolman to develop a large casino resort in Middleboro. Bond was out front as an advocate of the plan and brought in attorney Dennis Whittlesey to help him negotiate a contract between Middleboro and the Tribe and its developers.

The mega-casino project has not been without controversy. At times opponents of the gambling proposal accused Bond of being in the pocket of the tribe and its developers.

Then in December, a former chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, Glenn Marshall, was charged by the U.S. Justice Department with various counts of fraud and illegal campaign finance activity. Marshall has indicated he will plead guilty on all charges and will assist the Justice Department in its ongoing investigations. The case is one of the branches of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal that has unfolded in Washington D.C. in recent years.

According to the Cape Cod Times:
Since mid-December, when former Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Glenn Marshall admitted to federal corruption and fraud charges, Bond has been pushing fellow board members to seize the opportunity to sweeten the casino deal. Bond has repeatedly said Marshall’s crimes could constitute a breach of contract with the town because Marshall was the person making promises to the town on the tribe’s behalf.

His fellow board members resisted, calling only for a meeting with the tribe’s new leaders who will be elected Feb. 8.

Last Wednesday, Bond lashed out at the board on his blog, specifically citing Selectman Mimi Duphily for contacting the tribe’s political consultant, Stephen Graham, and other tribe members.“I am concerned that the town’s interests and/or strategies are being overlooked (and leaked) for some esoteric and emotional reason relating to how certain individuals feel about the tribal members on a personal level,” Bond wrote.

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