Dig Boston Investigation Exposes Somerville Officials

Had the Boston Phoenix survived two more weeks, the paper was scheduled to run the first installment of an investigative series by Chris Faraone which was “reported painstakingly over a series of months with an innovative, ad-hoc investigative unit of Somerville reporters.”

“I don’t know where these pieces will end up. I hope they end up somewhere,” Phoenix editor Carly Carioli wrote in March.

Last week Dig Boston published the first installment of the series and one local columnist says the revelations in it will “rock Somerville politics.”

After having talked with Chris Faraone on Monday morning of this week, it is readily apparent that there are going to be a hell of a lot of jaws dropping throughout Somerville – and beyond – as a result of the what this series will reveal about some of the deals that have reached between city officials and developers – deals that have involved very large sums of money and that have been arranged far below the radar of democratic oversight.

“This was a major impetus towards the full-time reinstatement of the feature well and we got behind it in a big way,” said Dig Boston editor J. Pat Brown in an email. “We worked closely with Faraone to set up a ‘Team Somerville’ HQ in the office, in which a great majority of their research, editing, and organization continues to take place. We weren’t just picking up a story that was going to run in the Phoenix, we were creating a place for stories like this to gestate.”