Dan Duquette is back in the news today, thanks to a Boston Globe story about the former Red Sox GM (and general architecht of the 2004 team.) Apparently Duquette and Pittsfield, MA Mayor James M. Ruberto are being investigated by the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission for Duquette selling two 2004 World Series tickets to the Mayor at face value.
The contention of the commission is that because the tickets were impossible for the general public at the face value cost of $190, when individual seats were going for $2000 or more, Duquette “provided something of substantial value to Ruberto for or because of official acts to be performed by Ruberto as mayor,” according to a statement the commission released.
Duquette admits that he sold the tickets to the Mayor because he wanted to get permission for his minor league baseball team, the Berkshire Dukes, to play at a park owned by the city.
“I believed then and I believe now that by not gifting the Mayor a ticket and instead selling it to him for the price set by Major League Baseball (MLB), I am not in violation of any Massachusetts law, regulation, or ethical norm. Furthermore, there was never any intent, offer, discussion, act or acts, official or unofficial, discussed, implied, mentioned, or required by Jim Ruberto on behalf of my family or any of the businesses in which I am involved in connection with the purchase of this ticket at face value,” Duquette said in a statement. He also went on to mention that MLB rules forbid team officials from selling team tickets at above face value.
Mayor Ruberto’s lawyer, Leonard Cohen said that the sale of the tickets did not impact the decision of the city with regard to the Dukes. He then complained about the multitudes of bad covers of his awesome song, “Hallelujah.”
One important thing to note: the Dukes pay a per-game fee of $300 and an annual payment of $10,000 to the city, more than any other team paid for a home facility last year. So if the Mayor gave preferential treatment to the Dukes and Duquette, he has a strange sense of prefence. It looks to me like if Duquette was looking to bribe the Mayor with these tickets he did it wrong.