When the government decided to carve up Andover after the last census, giving some of Andover to one U.S. Congressional District (currently represented by John Tierney) and keeping some in another (represented by Niki Tsongas) we knew this would be a terrible thing for Andover. But we didn't know the half of it.
We assumed neither member of Congress would give Andover's needs the same attention as a single Congressman or woman representing the entire town. We figured it might be confusing for residents.
But we never imagined that the potential next U.S. Representative for parts of Andover would make national news as a Congressman who is referred to by his own jailbird brother-in-law as "the biggest liar in the world."
After being sentenced to three years in prison for his role in an illegal gambling operation, Daniel Eremian unloaded on Tierney last week. "He knew everything that was going on," said Eremian. "He sat in the boxes with bookies at Fenway Park."
Tierney vehemently denies any knowledge of these illegal activities, and a convicted criminal's word has limited believability. But Tierney's own pronouncements on the criminal activity surrounding his extended family stretch the limits of credibility, too.
After all, Tierney's wife, Patrice Tierney, pleaded guilty in 2010 to helping her other brother, fugitive Robert Eremian, file false tax returns. She spent a month at a federal prison camp in Connecticut and is on probation.
For several years, Patrice Tierney was handling millions of dollars from her brother's gambling operation, making five-figure payments to the Internal Revenue Service, a private school, credit card companies, a car dealership and herself.
Patrice Tierney deposited the tens of thousands of dollars Robert Eremian shipped home from Antigua into a local bank account. Some $7 million moved through the account.
She kept records on the account and took them to a tax preparer claiming the money was from Robert's consulting business. Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty in 2010 to four counts of aiding and abetting tax fraud.
Yet while his wife was handling all this money — millions of dollars — Tierney claims he had no knowledge of what was going on. "I couldn't tell you if there was $5 going through there or $500. It was her family's stuff," he once said.
Andover residents can only hope Tierney has a better knowledge of what is happening with the trillions in tax dollars being funneled through the U.S. government.