Boston City Council president calls out Lara, Arroyo for ‘troubling ethical and legal lapses’

Councilor Ed Flynn noted that recent controversies have drawn negative attention to the Boston City Council, adding that the people of Boston "deserve better."

Boston City Council President Ed Flynn, center, took two of his colleagues to task Wednesday after they made headlines for recent "troubling ethical and legal lapses." Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Boston City Council President Ed Flynn says the city “deserves better” from its leaders after two of his colleagues made headlines recently for “troubling ethical and legal lapses.”  

In a statement posted to Twitter Wednesday, Flynn addressed controversies surrounding Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, who admitted to an ethics violation last week, and Councilor Kendra Lara, who was allegedly driving with a revoked license when she crashed into a Jamaica Plain home Friday.

More on Lara and Arroyo:

Flynn said he has heard from “many” residents with concerns about Lara’s crash, which injured the councilor and her 7-year-old son. 


A police report obtained by The Boston Globe noted that the car was unregistered and had an expired inspection sticker and no insurance, and that the driver’s license was also revoked. Additionally, police wrote that the child should have been riding in a booster seat but wasn’t. 

Lara’s office told the Globe she was driving on Centre Street when she swerved to avoid an accident. 

“First, it is fortunate that Councilor Lara and her child — as well as nearby homeowners, motorists, pedestrians or bystanders — were not seriously injured, and we wish them a speedy recovery,” Flynn wrote, thanking first responders for their work at the scene. 

However, he asserted that residents across Boston are concerned with the “troubling” details of the crash, including the allegations that Lara was driving an unregistered vehicle with a revoked license. 

Flynn also noted that Lara’s crash happened the same week that Arroyo admitted to violating conflict of interest laws by continuing to represent his brother in a sexual harassment lawsuit after joining the City Council. Arroyo agreed to pay a $3,000 fine to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission. 

No stranger to controversy, Arroyo fielded calls for his resignation just a few months ago, after former U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins stepped down amid reports that she meddled on Arroyo’s behalf in the 2022 race for Suffolk district attorney, a seat Kevin Hayden ultimately won. 


During the primary election for the DA seat, Arroyo also faced sexual assault allegations dating back to when he was a teenager; he denied the allegations and was never charged with a crime.  

Reflecting on last week’s headlines, Flynn wrote: “These events, and others in the past, continue to draw negative attention to the institution of the Boston City Council, and distract our city from focusing on the people’s business.” 

He added that the people of Boston “deserve the highest standards of strong and ethical leadership.”

“Moreover, they want elected officials who show maturity, take responsibility as adults, and demonstrate the ability to follow the same basic rules and norms as the people they serve when placing us in positions of public trust,” Flynn continued. “The residents of Boston deserve leaders who respect their constituents and take their responsibilities seriously, especially during these challenging times.” 


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