News

Harvard Law School Makes Online Zero-L Course Free for All U.S. Law Schools Due to Coronavirus

News

For Kennedy School Fellows, Epstein-Linked Donors Present a Moral Dilemma

News

Tenants Grapple with High Rents and Local Turnover at Asana-Owned Properties

News

In April, Theft Surged as Cambridge Residents Stayed at Home

News

The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Councillor Defends His Record, Insists He's Innocent

Walsh Says He 'Blanked Out' After Indictment

By Melissa Lee, Crimson Staff Writer

Indicted City Councillor William H. Walsh maintained his innocence, said he "blanked out" during the eight-day FBI search and called his political enemies cowards in an interview with The Crimson yesterday.

Standing for the entire hour-long interview in the dining room of his Hurlbut Street home, the four-term councillor refused to comment about the specifics of the case but said he felt like a " trapped man."

Walsh was indicted two weeks ago for allegedly defrauding a New York bank. Walsh said yesterday that he barely knows nine of the other 18 people indicted with him.

The lifelong Cambridge resident also said that his former partners, who are currently cooperating with the FBI, are using him as a "scapegoat" for their real estate losses.

Walsh said some of the FBIinformants--including a former paralegal whounsuccessfully sued Walsh when she was deniedmaternity leave--were cooperating with authoritiesbecause of past grudges.

The councillor also tried yesterday to explainhis eight-day absence from Cambridge following theindictment. During that time federal authoritiesclassified Walsh as a "fugitive from justice."

Walsh--indicted October 1 for 59 counts of bankfraud and conspiracy--said his lawyer's associatetold him he was not indicted and urged him to takea vacation to avoid being questioned about afriend's trial. The councillor said his lawyersnotified him about the indictment during a flightstopover in Chicago.

"I can only tell you that I was totallyshocked," Walsh said, adding that he saw visionsof a long-dead dog, a black 1950 Dodge, hisdeceased father and a young childhood friend witha chipped tooth and a bow tie.

After being notified of the indictment, Walshcontinued on to California. Walsh said he can'tremember much of the six days he spent travelingto San Jose and then to Scottsdale, Arizona beforehe surrendered himself to U.S. Marshalls inBoston.

Occasionally glancing out the picture window,Walsh said the only details he can recall of thetrip are sleeping for 20 hours a day mostly in apup tent, making a pitstop to go to church and"the heat of the desert."

Pressure from chargess surrounding him for thelast three years caused him to "blank out," Walshsaid.

"To be told you were indicted and then beingforced to go on a vacation you didn't want to goon and then being told when your halfway therethat some cruel trick like this had been played,it's possible human beings' minds can blank out,"Walsh said.

The councillor said yesterday he did hot knowmany of his investment partners, which usuallynumbered 15 per condominium project. Walsh addedthat he has never had any dealings "to myknowledge" with Dime Savings Bank of New York,which he is accused of defrauding.

"You can be assured that my involvement is muchless than I'm being given credit for," Walsh said."My knowledge of Dime just doesn't exit.

Walsh said past partners who are involved inthe investigation have tried to profit by bringinglawsuits against him and with schemes to buy condounits at deflated prices.

Walsh named partners Jay Goldman and Dennis M.Cargill, who was among the 19 indicted, as two ofthe people who "sat down and concocted a bunch oflawsuits."

The councillor cited 16 lawsuits against himand said he has already won three that were tried.

Walsh said he also faces strong opposition fromhis council colleagues and interest groups in thecity.

"I have had the wonderful opportunity of beingloved by a lot of Cambridge people and the sadnessof being hated by some of these groups, and Iunderstand that," Walsh said.

The influential Independent politico called theCambridge Civic Association (CCA) a "realpolitical machine" that has used his indictment tojustify the controversial firing of City ClerkJoseph P. Connarton. Connarton, who many said hadpolitical ties with Walsh, was a "sacrificiallamb" to the CCA, said Walsh.

Walsh said he has not yet decided whether toseek re-election to the council. But he said hedefinitely will not disappear from the Cambridgepolitical scene.

Despite any negative feelings the public orfellow councillors might harbor, Walsh says heplans to continue his stint on council and work athis law firm

Walsh said some of the FBIinformants--including a former paralegal whounsuccessfully sued Walsh when she was deniedmaternity leave--were cooperating with authoritiesbecause of past grudges.

The councillor also tried yesterday to explainhis eight-day absence from Cambridge following theindictment. During that time federal authoritiesclassified Walsh as a "fugitive from justice."

Walsh--indicted October 1 for 59 counts of bankfraud and conspiracy--said his lawyer's associatetold him he was not indicted and urged him to takea vacation to avoid being questioned about afriend's trial. The councillor said his lawyersnotified him about the indictment during a flightstopover in Chicago.

"I can only tell you that I was totallyshocked," Walsh said, adding that he saw visionsof a long-dead dog, a black 1950 Dodge, hisdeceased father and a young childhood friend witha chipped tooth and a bow tie.

After being notified of the indictment, Walshcontinued on to California. Walsh said he can'tremember much of the six days he spent travelingto San Jose and then to Scottsdale, Arizona beforehe surrendered himself to U.S. Marshalls inBoston.

Occasionally glancing out the picture window,Walsh said the only details he can recall of thetrip are sleeping for 20 hours a day mostly in apup tent, making a pitstop to go to church and"the heat of the desert."

Pressure from chargess surrounding him for thelast three years caused him to "blank out," Walshsaid.

"To be told you were indicted and then beingforced to go on a vacation you didn't want to goon and then being told when your halfway therethat some cruel trick like this had been played,it's possible human beings' minds can blank out,"Walsh said.

The councillor said yesterday he did hot knowmany of his investment partners, which usuallynumbered 15 per condominium project. Walsh addedthat he has never had any dealings "to myknowledge" with Dime Savings Bank of New York,which he is accused of defrauding.

"You can be assured that my involvement is muchless than I'm being given credit for," Walsh said."My knowledge of Dime just doesn't exit.

Walsh said past partners who are involved inthe investigation have tried to profit by bringinglawsuits against him and with schemes to buy condounits at deflated prices.

Walsh named partners Jay Goldman and Dennis M.Cargill, who was among the 19 indicted, as two ofthe people who "sat down and concocted a bunch oflawsuits."

The councillor cited 16 lawsuits against himand said he has already won three that were tried.

Walsh said he also faces strong opposition fromhis council colleagues and interest groups in thecity.

"I have had the wonderful opportunity of beingloved by a lot of Cambridge people and the sadnessof being hated by some of these groups, and Iunderstand that," Walsh said.

The influential Independent politico called theCambridge Civic Association (CCA) a "realpolitical machine" that has used his indictment tojustify the controversial firing of City ClerkJoseph P. Connarton. Connarton, who many said hadpolitical ties with Walsh, was a "sacrificiallamb" to the CCA, said Walsh.

Walsh said he has not yet decided whether toseek re-election to the council. But he said hedefinitely will not disappear from the Cambridgepolitical scene.

Despite any negative feelings the public orfellow councillors might harbor, Walsh says heplans to continue his stint on council and work athis law firm

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags