Speliotis owes taxpayers an explanation on why he helped developer get special treatment

20 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Let’s call it what it is and all agree that it was a questionable deal that allowed a developer to get a no-bid contract to construct a state-of-the-art sports complex on the grounds of the Essex Technical Regional High School in Middleton.


Ted Speliotis

The developer, a company named Edge Sports, was not only granted the rights to build the $11 million facility on public property, it won the contract with no competition. Instead of following state law, which requires that taxpayer rights be protected through an open bidding process on such projects, Edge was granted the contract through a line item added to a larger spending bill on Beacon Hill, according to the Salem News.

Was that legal? Well, the Office of the Inspector General and the State Ethics Commission will need to decide, and a source tells us that state oversight officials are looking into whether there was a violation here.

For now, though, Ted Speliotis – our State Rep, who co-sponsored the legislation that gave Edge the edge outside of the open bid process – has some explaining to do to the taxpayers he represents in West Peabody, Middleton and Danvers.

Not only didn’t he help his constituents receive the protection of the open bid process, he helped pass essentially an “earmark” that will give Edge Sports the opportunity to lease the property at our vocational school for free.

There is a lot that smells with this deal, and so far, we the taxpayers should not be satisfied with the response from Rep. Speliotis.

According to the Salem News, Speliotis said in a phone interview this week that he did not pay close enough attention when the deal was being negotiated.

“I did go along with it, but it was really my colleagues who amended this thing” to require that the lease be awarded to Edge Sports without a competitive bid process or review by the state Inspector General, Speliotis told the Salem News.

Instead of “passing the buck” on this one, Ted, how about giving the taxpayers you represent a real explanation on how you just didn’t look out for our best interests?

23 Responses to “Speliotis owes taxpayers an explanation on why he helped developer get special treatment”

  1. anonymous November 20, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    The sad part is that I can actually believe that he wasn’t paying close enough attention. Ted is dumber than a box of rocks. That said, I also don’t believe a word he says.

    • redel17 November 20, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

      He proved that to me on numerous occasions. 🙂

  2. Anonymous November 20, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    Wasn’t paying attention????? Not sure if he is corrupt or really really dumb. Either way those are not good qualities for an elected official.

  3. anonymous November 20, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    So I guess Mr. Speliotis is blaming Joan Lovely for this mess. You can’t blame Leah Cole. She would never have gone along with this backroom deal.

    • anonymous November 20, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

      Maybe if she didn’t just up and quit we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  4. Anonymous November 20, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    “There wasn’t any market for this. I’m confident today that if we could put it out to bid, we’re not going to get any bidders.” – Ted Speliotis

    Of course not. If the bidder if left to draft the plans and write the SOW himself, he will always include approaches, materials, techniques, equipment, etc. that he knows are his own core competencies that a competitor will not be able to compete with. It’s the oldest trick in the book, and is the chief reason why there are federal and state procurement regulations requiring RFP notices, project specifications, and pre-bid forums to ensure that the eventual set of bid documents represent the actual need.

    I can’t imagine the reason for a legislative bill requiring that state land be leased to a specific developer – makes no sense unless the fix was in from the get-go.

  5. Anonymous November 20, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

    Bob, why don’t you run?

  6. Peabody Voter November 22, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    Let’s see the last three (Democratic) speakers of the house are convicted felons for their influence peddling. http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/07/a_tale_of_3_speakers_–_salvat.html

    What are we to expect from our long term democratic rep from Danvers? Something different?

  7. DonnaV November 23, 2015 at 10:26 am #

    Where are the rest City Councilors on this? We know Mr. Ice Cream won’t say a word, but the others?

    We have the Mayors from various cities speaking out on this but where is our Mayor?

    “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
    Elie Wiesel

    • Larry Leavitt January 10, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

      Teddy was all over this. Him, Driscoll and the Beverly mayor were asking questions. It came to a dead end.

  8. Just Thinking November 24, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    The other day I posted a reply to Peabody Voter regarding the upcoming special election for Peabody State Rep. where our former Rep Tom Walsh is looking to get back into the State House’s good old boys gang. Promoting his past experience. Can you believe that!Apparently my comment has been edited.

    History is doomed to repeat itself in Peabody.


    Shades of Billy Bulger! The Dems. can do no wrong. Are retreads of old Hacks needed in Peabody? Probably an attempt to build up pension and other benefits. Shades of North Shore hacks! Can you name a few?

    • Bob Croce November 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      Your comment was not edited. I don’t ever edit comments that are approved for posting.

      • Just Thinking November 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

        Getting a little personal… Bob. All talk. Look in the mirror!

        Just sayin’

        Sorry about that,

        I have just been sniffing those Gas fumes coming from West Peabody along the River Walk near the rock Quarry.

        Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

      • Bob Croce November 26, 2015 at 11:06 am #

        Um, Thinking … you poked the bear! I’m just playing “defense.”

        Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

    • Lynda November 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

      The post was in the comments for the Sept 29th story. It’s still there. 😄

      • Just Thinking November 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm #


        My (missing) comment was in response to Peabody Voter’s November 22 comment not to the earlier Sept blog..

        My point being: This blog site is obsessed with putting back into public office someone who has proven himself corruptible. To me this campaign is just a lifetime benefits grab for lucrative public pension, health insurance and other benefits. Peabody voters are again being played by seasoned politicians, who wish to better themselves financially! Government power/benefits are corruptive, seductive, attractive enticements.

        So much for public service for public service sake.

        The much maligned (by this blog) Leah Cole never intended to “retire” from this position.
        Mr. Walsh clearly intends to!

      • Bob Croce November 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

        Well, “Thinking,” maybe if you tried harder when you ran for office, things might be different right now. But you do indeed do a lot of talking for someone who doesn’t take the task of running for office very seriously once you get in. Look, I admire you as a civic watchdog (and a good guy), but many times you are ALL talk, no action. Just sayin’

  9. anonymous November 25, 2015 at 7:13 am #

    Looks like nothing has changed here in Peabody. I watched the school committee last night and the idiocy continues. Beverly Dunne, Brandi Carpenter, Ed Charest, Tom Rossingnol and Dave Mcgeney will not allow a public meeting on the after school program. They are afraid of the parents. Looks like the voters of Peabody got what they wanted when they re-elected Carpenter. A selfish, arrogant self serving know it all. Good job Peabody voters. You voted and got the worst school committee ever. Don’t ever complain about the problems in the schools. You deserve it.

  10. speedyG November 27, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

    Anonymous, you are right about meeting …. a disgrace by our SC members, especially Carpenter.
    However, did you you see Levine not say a word and not back up the MAYOR or the after school program.
    A complete sell out by Levine. Its like he pushed the Mayor into Crystal Lake!!!

    • Just Thinking November 27, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

      Good thing the Mayor hasn’t dredged Crystal Lake yet.
      He could get stuck in the mud though. Actually, maybe the entire school committee is stuck there.
      Good luck to the new SC members!

  11. Samantha January 19, 2016 at 10:36 am #

    Hey Bob.. where are you?

    How about some coverage of the CONTINUED dysfunction of the School Committee!!!

    If you watched the meeting last week…. it looks like the same old, same old!!!

    Looks like Joe Amico has already drank the kool-aid and Olympico is just going to keep his mouth shut!!! And the NEW Dean of the Sc Beverly Griffin middleton clinton Dunne has picked up the attacks on Hochman that Mcgeeny started!!!

    Stay home TV at its finest!

    BTW- Nice to have a INTERIM Superintendent that makes 150K and takes a two week vacation in the Caribbean!!! This guy is a genius manipulator- has the Mayor and SC all fooled!

    • Bob Croce January 19, 2016 at 10:48 am #

      Sorry, Samantha. Been busy with work, pipeline opposition and life. Not sure I’ll be writing much here going forward, since I’m also about to announce another exciting endeavor. It’s time to throw out another elected official who hasn’t done the right thing for those he represents!

      • Anonymous January 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

        You need to find someone you trust to take this over then. It is needed…This city is failing itself lately…Ranked 5th worst suburb of Boston…Samantha is right, the SC meeting was awful and Herb has barely been interim and he is already gone on vacation for a two week period??? I would love to see the actual day he booked it, bet it was the day after he agreed on this position…The consolidation of the sub-committee’s by the mayor is a joke. Keeping Dunn on PAB was the worst decision since she has cancelled more meetings than her predecessors ever did and she has only been doing it for a year. Amico and Olympio are going to get very frustrated with her. BTW Amico aligned himself with Teddy so it does not surprise me. Olympio may be smarter by keeping is mouth shut initially. I have had my concerns about him being good friends with Carpenter but he could be a nice addition. Tom trying to blindside Hochman with the Redistrict Subcommittee was funny. Especially when he had really good data to share. My one questions is why it was not shared before the meeting with the committee. Brandi continues to look unprofessional especially when she is looking into space and twirling her hair while Hochman is speaking. Do they know they are on live TV that is taped? I think our schools are in very serious trouble and there is no light at the end of this tunnel.

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