The head of the state gambling commission is withdrawing from next week’s crucial review of the land deal for a $1.3 billion casino proposed for Everett, after disclosing that he is a longtime friend and former business partner of one of the owners of the proposed casino site.
Stephen Crosby, who has led the five-member commission since it was created in 2012, said that he has known Paul Lohnes, co-owner of the 29-acre Everett site, since they were in the National Guard in the 1970s and that they were business partners from 1983 to 1990 at a company that made cable television guides.
If Wynn Resorts wins the right to develop the former Monsanto chemical site into a casino, the sale of the land would potentially be worth millions of dollars to Lohnes.
“Given how demanding we’ve been with everybody else, it was appropriate for me to say: Look, this is a funky situation,” said Crosby, in a Globe interview. “I could certainly be objective. I’ve complied with all the rules, but nevertheless I’m going to let the other commissioners figure out how the land gets handled.” Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.