By Adam Reilly
July 4, 2012
SALEM, Mass. — In 2010, Rep. John Tierney's wife Patrice pled guilty to helping her fugitive brother file false tax returns. Ever since, the North Shore Democrat has been dogged by questions about his possible involvement. Now Tierney has responded to incendiary charges from his wife's brothers, who say Tierney knew all about their illegal gambling operation.
At a press conference on the afternoon of July 3, Tierney aggressively pushed back against recent allegations from his brothers-in-law Daniel and Robert Eremian. The week before, after Daniel Eremian was sentenced on gambling charges, he said Tierney was fully aware of the illegal offshore gambling outfit he ran with his brother Robert, who's currently a fugitive in Antigua. The next day Robert Eremian agreed in a phone interview with the Boston Globe.
But during a lengthy and occasionally combative appearance, Tierney said his brothers-in-law couldn't be trusted.
"I think they're very angry," he said. "I think they're angry and bitter — Danny, certainly, at the sentence they got, but I also think they're angry that their brother-in-law the congressman didn't make this matter go away for them. And that they also think that I was responsible for not allowing them to talk to their sister for the last couple of years. In fact, that was an instruction from her probation officer. And they're quite furious about that."
Richard Tisei, Tierney's Republican opponent, has said that Tierney's claims of innocence are implausible. Tierney accused Tisei of not wanting to talk about real issues. But at this point in the race, the question of what Tierney knew and when he knew it may be the biggest issue of all.