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Former Boston city councilor David Scondras dies at 74

Former Boston City Councilor David Scondras is seen in 1996.LANDERS, Tom GLOBE STAFF

Boston’s first openly gay city councilor, who served five terms before losing by a narrow margin but later in life pleaded guilty to a crime, died last week, his family announced.

David Scondras, 74, died Oct. 21, according to a death notice posted on the website of Bishop Funeral Home in Worcester by his family. The notice did not give a cause of death.

After his election in 1983, Scondras was celebrated at a time when few lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer politicians spoke publicly about their sexuality. Later, he was twice accused and once pleaded guilty to a sex crime against someone he believed to be a teenage boy.


Former mayor Raymond L. Flynn said Thursday night he was “so sad to hear the news of David’s passing.”

Flynn recalled working with Scondras to pass a rental protection law and an anti-displacement law for low-income residents— at a time “when most Massachusetts politicians and the media were against poor people housing rights.”

Scondras was voted onto the City Council in 1983, a Harvard-educated tenant activist from the Fenway who pledged to fight for the less fortunate.

Scondras lost his reelection bid in 1993 after he was caught making rambling calls to police and said publicly that he was an alcoholic, had been taking pain medication, and that his partner had been diagnosed with AIDS.

After leaving office, Scondras ran a nonprofit AIDS organization, Search For A Cure, from his home in Cambridge and was with the Area 4 Neighborhood Coalition, an advocacy group for residents who live between Central and Kendall squares.

In 1997, Scondras was accused of trying to fondle a 16-year-old boy in a Back Bay movie theater, but the charge was dropped when the teen refused to testify in court.


In 2007, Scondras pleaded guilty in Lawrence to attempting to lure a person he believed to be a teenage boy into meeting him for sex. Prosecutors said Scondras had sent pornographic images and messages to a 20-year-old hospital security guard who he believed was a 15-year-old boy. He was sentenced to 18 months' probation and required to register as a sex offender.

Material from the Associated Press and prior Globe reports was used in this story.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.