, Salem, MA

Local News

December 19, 2013

Mayor ducks 'Duck Dynasty' look

PEABODY — For Mayor Ted Bettencourt, it’s been a case of hair today but gone tomorrow. While most of his bold initiatives seem to be bearing fruit, his honor knows when it’s time to give up. Thus, his hard-fought efforts to join the ranks of the bearded have come to an end.

It just didn’t look right, the mayor explained, letting his hair down on the subject.

“I gave it three weeks,” he said.

He said he realized it was a lost cause when one of his daughters declared that he looked “goofy.” It’s hard to argue with the kids, and the image wouldn’t do for a civic leader.

I didn’t mean you!

That’s the message lawyer Jack Keilty is hurriedly sending out to members of the Licensing Board after invoking the Three Stooges in his analysis of the recent decision of Judge Howard Whitehead, who overruled the board’s cutback in the hours when Oliveira’s Steakhouse is allowed to serve liquor. The punishment came after the restaurant was found to be on the periphery of numerous violent incidents.

The judge struck down the decision because the board had failed to alert in advance the restaurant or its lawyer that the Nov. 24 hearing was meant specifically to consider a punishment. (Chief Robert Champagne had urged pulling the restaurant’s liquor license altogether.)

In a conversation with reporters, Keilty later joked that the judge had said, in effect, “Wake up and die right,” which he noted is a catch phrase used by Moe regarding his two stooge cohorts.

“I was trying to be too clever,” a chastened Keilty subsequently told the News.

Only later was it pointed out, to his discomfort, that the issue concerned a three-person board. Thus, some interpreted his remarks as an insult directed at board members.

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