BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Steve Crosby tells Fox 25 Political Reporter Sharman Sacchetti he's "totally been transparent" when it comes to disclosing a friend and former business partner who co-owns land in Everett where Steve Wynn wants to build a casino. Crosby has known the site's co-owner, Paul Lohnes, since the 1970's but says he hasn't talked with him in two years. Crosby says he disclosed the potential conflict to the State Ethics Commission and Governor Deval Patrick back in August.
Last week, after the Boston Globe story on the issue, Crosby said he planned to recuse himself from a review of the land deal between Wynn Resorts and the owners of the former Monsanto chemical site in Everett.
A gaming commission spokeswoman called that timing "coincidental."
Crosby tells us he's done nothing wrong, but we wanted to know why he didn't publicly disclose this earlier. He told Fox 25 "I could have reported it earlier of course. I could've and I hadn't gotten around to it. There was no reason. I wasn't seeing this person, there was no, we weren't into the application phase and most importantly of all there was no action before me where the relationship could have any relevance."
Crosby said he followed the law, and that "the public interest and the law require that a public official like myself disclose a personal relationship that might have a bearing on an action I take when there's an action to take. And there were no actions to take until after I did the disclosure. The public interest isn't necessarily to know who all my friends are."
When Fox 25 asked him if the public should call his judgement into question, he told us he could be objective. Crosby also said "The public has to draw their own conclusions based on my behavior...and I hope the public can conclude that my judgement is totally reliable on this issue."
Tuesday, the commission will try to figure out if the Revere only proposal that Suffolk Downs is trying to manage will be acceptable.
Also Monday, the investigative arm of the Gaming Commission recommended MGM for financial suitability for a casino in Springfield, but did flag two key issues.
One was regarding MGM's dealings in the Chinese territory of Macau.
Another had to do with the 2008 conviction of a former board member in a wiretapping case.
The commission is coming out with a final decision on their overall suitability within the next few days.
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