07 January 2006

The Last Word on Reilly and Worcester?

At Blue Mass Group, FrankSkeffington has a diary that pretty much sums up the doings in the imbroglio over medical records inwhich Reilly entangled himself. The Worcester DA, John Conte, basically cleared everything up, shifting blame (and apparently, rightly so) onto the Northborough Police Chief Mark Leahy.
Finally Conte to the rescue (or for today at least), who takes an infinitely better approach to managing the press circus than Reilly (who is spending a lot more money, both state and campaign dollars, paying people to manage the media than Conte).
Instead of calling a media circus...err media conference and then start whining and crying, Conte gave private press interviews to key press people: the Globe,the Herald, NECN (find clip on the Globe link) and I don't know who else.
Among the facts Conte gave: Chief Leahy had the toxicology info he needed to determine if the driver was drunk. And most importantly, Chief Leahy could have filed charges on his own, if he wanted. (This is true; any individual can file misdemeanor charges in district court. So if any yahoos want to push this...they can file charges against the "host" of the party and see what happens.) Thanks to Conte, it appears that Reilly can at least spend the majority of his time doing something other than back-tracking, stumbling and other-wise poorly explaining his actions and motives. He is not, however, out of the proverbial woods, not by a longshot:

But the potential good news here (Conte backs up Reilly and blames the Police Chief) still does not outweigh the damage this has done for Reilly...who will be haunted with this. Nor does the managing of this crisis speak well for Reilly and his people's ability to handle the big time. They can learn a lesson from Conte.
If Reilly does survive this it's going to be in spite of himself and because of Conte. This should not have been a big enough deal to warrant four days of serious coverage, including some national coverage. Reilly needs to rethink his approach to confronting these things (perhaps by adopting Conte's methods) or he's not going to have to worry about this coming back to bite him because something worse is bound to come down the pipe. I think Conte just gave the AG a freebie; he'd better realize it if he wants to stick around.

UPDATE: Apparently, it was a good thing that I used a question mark in the post-title. The Sunday Globe is chock-full of articles pertaining to Reilly's involvement in this case and the social host law itself. Also, a Greater Boston that aired this morning had a lengthy roundtable discussion on the mess. I may have jumped the gun on this being over and done.

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