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From the moment Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn toured former industrial land in Everett as a possible location for a casino in Nov. 2012, the chairman of the state gambling commission faced a potential ethical minefield.
Stephen Crosby’s old friend and longtime business partner, Paul Lohnes, was an owner of the 29-acre parcel and stood to make millions if Crosby’s commission approved a casino on the site. Yet, Crosby remained silent for at least 10 months while Wynn Resorts officials pressed ahead, negotiating a deal to pay the land owners an estimated $70 million if the casino was approved, and winning overwhelming support from Everett voters.
Now, some are wondering why Crosby waited so long to make public his eight-year business partnership with Lohnes and whether disclosing it will be enough to allow him to continue presiding over the commission as it decides who should receive the license for Greater Boston’s only casino.