Pols: Spare drug-addled former mayoral worker

Pols: Spare drug-addled former mayoral worker

By Laurel J. Sweet  |   Tuesday, January 18, 2011  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Local Coverage

Ex-Senate president Robert Travaglini and City Councilor Sal LaMattina are among dozens of compassionate supporters asking a federal judge to spare the rod on an erstwhile rising star in Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s camp, whose addiction to painkillers poisoned his political career.

While serving as Menino’s East Boston neighborhood coordinator, John Forbes was moonlighting as a drug dealer and popping five oxycodone pills a day “just to function,” court documents filed Friday by his attorney reveal.

“John Forbes is a classic example of a fine young man who exercised poor judgment,” Travaglini wrote in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns, who could sentence Forbes, 31, to up to 20 years behind bars this afternoon.

Forbes, Travaglini’s mercy-seeking missive continued, “has for the better part of his life always done the right thing — helping, coaching and teaching young children how to become respected members of the community driven by what is good in life.” He urged Stearns “to be as lenient as the law would allow.”

LaMattina, who has known Forbes since he was born, told Sterns in his letter that Forbes “loved the neighborhood” of East Boston “and the people loved him back.” He noted Forbes had “a connection to the mayor’s office that made people feel better about their city government.”

Forbes pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to distribute Oxycontin and cocaine. Attorney Rosemary Curran Scapicchio is asking that the father of two be placed only on probation.

Leah Forbes, Forbes’ wife of six years and mother of his two toddler daughters, told the court she defeated her own demons after her husband’s embarrassing 2009 bust, writing: “Johnny and I have been struggling with drug addiction off and on since before we were married. It was a terrible secret that we had kept from our family and friends. If I have learned anything … it is that second chances are not to be taken lightly.”

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1310242

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