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For Lakian, it’s legal trouble galore

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Ghosts of political figures past, they just keeping giving.

Here's an update on one of the state's most memorable fablers who is shortly headed to the federal dock. John Lakian, the wealthy investor whose political career crashed and burned over fraudulent claims in his personal resume, has lost his first round of legal problems, and it will cost him $21 million.

And that is only the beginning. He is scheduled to be in federal court May 2 in Manhattan to fight charges he and his mistress "lied, cheated, and stole" (that's how FBI described it) when defrauding their partners and investors and lying on bank loan applications.

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In a Dec. 30 award, a New York arbitrator ruled against Lakian, ordering him to pay the $21 million to former partners at Pangea Capital Management. His ruling also minced no words, saying Lakian indulged in "rampant self-dealing" when he pulled off a "scheme to defraud and pillage" Pangea.

"This was a case about greed and how Lakian used his position to perpetrate a massive fraud, breaching his fiduciary duties at every turn to advance his own personal interests at Pangea's expense,'' said Pangea's lawyer, Dean G. Yuzek.

Lakian's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

"Only by relentlessly following the money, and through many days of Lakian's grueling cross-examination, were we able to lay bare what is referred to in the award as a 'complex scheme' which rested on the sand of Lakian's 'racketeering activities,' " added the New York attorney whose speciality is complex commercial litigation.

Lakian and his girlfriend, Diane Lamm, were arrested last February and charged in a five-count indictment on charges relating to their use of his position as co-managing member of Pangea. The charges allege they forged documents exaggerating their income and assets to secure $8 million in bank loans.

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Don't these folks on Wall Street read the political clips from Boston? Lakian's resume embellishments are legendary in Massachusetts politics.

When a young John Lakian, who is now 73, burst into the Republican gubernatorial race in 1982, he generated much excitement. But soon his glossy resume — Harvard graduate, Vietnam veteran who got a battlefield promotion, father killed in World War II — began to unravel, thanks mostly to the Globe's Walter Robinson's digging into his background.

His gubernatorial campaign collapsed and his 1994 attempt at political redemption — with a mea culpa and apologies for his deception a dozen years earlier — was even worse. A newly minted candidate Mitt Romney smoked him in the US Senate GOP primary.

Frank Phillips

Fight brewing on charter schools

It's going to be a testy New Year on Beacon Hill, it seems.

A leading proponent of lifting the state cap on charter schools took a jab at Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg Tuesday, a day after he told reporters his district "does not want to see more charter schools."

Great Schools Massachusetts, a coalition of charter schools, parents, and other advocates that shares a top adviser with Governor Charlie Baker, said in a news release that there are "a number of data points that refute this claim."

The group said there are 569 children in Rosenberg's district on charter school wait lists. It added that 296 people in his district signed an online petition urging the Senate to lift the cap this year.

Rosenberg's district, which stretches from South Hadley up through Amherst and to the state's northern border, includes roughly 160,000 people.

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The Senate president's office declined to respond to the news release.

On Monday, he said lifting the cap is "a very complicated and sensitive political issue" with members of his left-leaning chamber "all over the map." Passage is "very much an uphill battle," he said.

Rosenberg suggested in a recent interview with the Globe that while Baker's first year in office was consumed with management issues, like righting the MBTA and the Department of Children and Families, there could be more policy fights in 2016.

It's on.

David Scharfenberg

Look who’s here!

Jayne was surprised when she looked up from lunch with her mother this week to see the former president walk into the room. Bill Clinton, in his first solo campaign swing on behalf of Hillary Clinton, had chosen the storied Puritan Backroom in Manchester, N.H., for his second stop of the day, bringing with him a traveling entourage befitting a former commander-in-chief and a retinue/horde of reporters and cameramen.

And Jayne's son. Michael (their last name is excluded for security reasons, at Jayne's request) is a member of Clinton's Secret Service detail and was standing in another corner of the restaurant when Clinton stopped by to greet his mother and grandmother at their table. The 42nd president and aspiring first first husband suggested a family photo. "Michael!" Jayne called over the heads of several diners. "President Clinton wants you."

Red-faced, muttering, Michael complied, Jayne's phone captured the image, and she and her mother were surrounded by a crowd of laughing and curious reporters. "We didn't even know he was coming here today," she said.

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Jim O’Sullivan

Baker sets fund-raising record

Governor Charlie Baker has smashed fund-raising records for a first-year governor, hauling in $2.79 million for his campaign committee since his inauguration a year ago.

His committee's filing this week with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance shows it has a balance of $2.39 million after the aggressive fund-raising in 2015 by Baker and the GOP state committee he controls.

His reports all year show that Baker has used the full leverage of his office to hit up contributors who depend on state government contracts, have interests in legislation on Beacon Hill, or are heavily regulated by state agencies controlled the Baker administration.

His total take easily outpaced his former boss, Governor Paul Cellucci, who broke all records in 1999, his first full year in office, when he raised about $1.75 million. That record held until Baker came to office. Deval Patrick raised only $1.23 million in his first year as governor 2007.

The governor's skills at aggressive fund-raising were evident for the last two weeks of December, the holiday period when most political finance operations usually grind to a halt. The Baker committee collected $233,401 between Dec. 15 and the end of the month. It was his second-largest two-week haul since last January.

Frank Phillips

Suffolk register of deeds retires

Francis "Mickey" Roache, the former Boston police commissioner, has resigned his post as Suffolk County register of deeds.

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Roache, 79, first won election to the low-profile job in 2002.

An affable figure reared in South Boston, he served in the police department for almost 25 years and was appointed commissioner in 1985 by former mayor Raymond L. Flynn, his lifelong friend and political patron.

He won plaudits, from some, for moving to root out corruption in the department. But he faced criticism over the investigation of the Carol Stuart murder.

Stuart's husband, Charles Stuart, claimed a black man had shot his pregnant wife, setting off a high-profile search for suspects. Stuart later committed suicide when he became a prime suspect in the case.

Roache resigned in 1993 to run for mayor when Flynn left Boston to serve as President Bill Clinton's ambassador to the Vatican.

He lost that race but went on to serve as a Boston city councilor, before running for register of deeds. His resignation took effect Dec. 31.

The register is responsible for recording real estate transactions in Suffolk County. Secretary of State William Galvin has the power to appoint a new register and set the election for the post.

A spokesman for Galvin said he has not yet made any decisions.

In the meantime, Thomas M. Ryan is serving as the temporary register.

David Scharfenberg

For Mass. Democrats, a fourth presidential option

Martin O'Malley, move over. You are not going to be the least known presidential candidate on Massachusetts' March 1 Democratic primary ballot — and there's an excellent chance you won't come in last.

Roque "Rocky" de la Fuente, frequently described as a wealthy and colorful San Diego businessman, made a last-minute filing this week with the secretary of state's election division, providing the 2,500 signatures necessarily to qualify for the Democratic presidential primary. His name will now appear along with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and O'Malley.

De la Fuente, a real estate tycoon, developer, and car dealer, says he is convinced that voters want a fresh face; thinks Donald Trump has insulted women, Latinos, and other minorities; and sees himself as the conservative Democrat alternative.

But don't count on him shaking hands at the South Shore Mall or outside the TD Garden or knocking on doors in Somerville. He says he will primarily campaign on social media.

Frank Phillips