As reported by the Boston Herald, the Boston Redevelopment Authority has spent over $280,000 fighting investigations and lawsuits over the “controversial backroom Fenway deal with the Red Sox.” The $287,470 in legal fees have been incurred through contesting an investigation by the State Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha, and combating a lawsuit from an Everett business man “who was denied the chance to make an offer for the Yawkey Way concession rights because the BRA never put them out for a public bid.”
Even though the Boston Redevelopment Authority has a team of eight in-house lawyers, the agency has paid over $287,000 to two outside law firms: Englader, Leggett & Chicoine and Greenberg Traurig LLP. Englader, Legget & Chicoine were hired to help stop the investigation by the Inspector General into the “backroom deal” and has been paid over $13,000 to date. Meanwhile, the Boston Redevelopment Authority has been billed over $270,000 from Greenberg Traurig to negotiate the Yawkey Way deal and to also fend off the investigation from the Inspector General. These large legal bills have been incurred through Greenberg Traurig because they “bill as much as $385 per hour for one of its top attorneys and $125-$150 an hour for paralegals.”
The Mayor of Boston is also unhappy about the deal that the Boston Redevelopment Authority has made. The deal gives “the Sox permeant rights to close Yawkey Way for concession sales 120 days a year, plus the air rights under the Monster Seats built over Lansdowne Street and the use of Van Ness Street for team and concert parking.” The Mayor, Martin J. Walsh, stated that this deal was made by a past administration as a favor before the previous mayor left office. Additionally, Mayor Walsh believes that this deal hurts taxpayers and that “when there is any type of municipal contract, everyone should have the right to bid on it.”
The case from the Everett businessman was set to go before a Suffolk judge yesterday. The Boston Redevelopment group is hoping to have the case dismissed. With over $280,000 legal fees already incurred, and the case and investigation ongoing, the Mayor and taxpayers may have a reason to be criticizing the deal.