Mayor gives $$ back to developer, vows review
by Jack Meyers

(c) 1999 The Boston Herald

Wednesday, December 8, 1999

Mayor Thomas M. Menino's political campaign returned a check yesterday from Fan Pier developer Daniel O'Connell and was reviewing other donations by real estate executives following a posh fund-raising breakfast.

Menino's campaign finance chairman, Joseph C. Maher Jr., said O'Connell's check was sent back yesterday because it violates the mayor's policy of not accepting contributions from people with business pending at City Hall.

The campaign committee took the action after the Herald reported details of the fund-raising event, which took place Monday.

The team proposing a $1.2 billion complex on Fan Pier submitted a project notification form last month to the Boston Redevelopment Authority formally requesting City Hall approvals.

Maher said he could not comment on whether the project's lawyer, Robert Cordy, who also attended the event, donated money to Menino's coffers or had his check returned.

Neither O'Connell nor Cordy returned phone calls seeking comment on the issue. Cordy's firm also represents developer Richard Friedman, whose company was picked last month to develop the $700 million convention center's 1,120-room hotel.

Maher also would not disclose the identities of any other attendees at the breakfast money-maker, held at the Meridien Hotel, claiming the committee had not completed a review to determine whether there were any other potential conflicts.

Maher also said he believes the breakfast had 15 to 20 people in attendance, but a source estimated the turnout at about 50 people.

The Herald reported yesterday that developers Joseph Fallon and Henry Kara co-hosted the fund-raiser, which was attended by a number of real estate professionals with deals pending to develop on the city's booming waterfront.

Fallon himself has at least two major projects in the works requiring city permits. His firm, Corcoran Jennison, is developing a commercial tower on Massport land across from the World Trade Center. It is also leading Emmanuel College's controversial campus expansion.

Fallon and Kara did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Also in attendance Monday was businessman Robert Platt, a well-known political fund raiser for several Democrats, as well as Gov. Paul Cellucci.

Menino allies privately said yesterday that Fallon, Kara and O'Connell all knew the event could cause embarrassment to the mayor, who bristles at reports linking his fund-raising operation with firm's angling for approvals from City Hall.

Aides note that the mayor is so sensitive about his fund-raising operation that he appointed his sister-in-law, Mary Cavanaugh, as the treasurer and pays her a $36,000-a-year salary to staff the campaign office.

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