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BOSTON-The nearly 11-month old war raging between the mayor’s office here and the South Boston Betterment Trust continued to heat up as lawyers for Mayor Thomas M. Menino sought to have the lawsuit brought against him by the trust thrown out of court.

The trust sued the mayor for abandoning the agreement he made with the trust three years ago. The agreement was signed in 1998 on behalf of the Menino administration by Thomas N. O’Brien, then the Boston Redevelopment Authority director. James M. Kelly, city council’s then-president, state senator Stephen F. Lynch and state representative John A. Hart Jr., all of South Boston, also signed the agreement creating the trust. “The mayor was involved in setting up the trust and it was supposed to build affordable housing,” Carole Brennan, press secretary for the mayor’s office, tells GlobeSt.com. “That’s not what it was doing.”

Last summer, the mayor nullified an agreement the trust had made that would have enabled the South Boston neighborhood to receive millions of dollars in linkage fees from developers looking to build on the waterfront. Linkage fees are payments developers make to the city to compensate for the inconvenience of developing large projects in the area. Calls to the South Boston Betterment Trust by GlobeSt.com were not returned by press time but reportedly the trust contends that the mayor was aware of the its activities but abandoned the trust when it became politically uncomfortable for him to continue to be associated with it.

“The mayor all along said South Boston got ahead of itself,” Brennan points out. “They went off to develop affordable housing and suddenly they got all this money from developers. We didn’t know about the majority of what the South Boston Betterment Trust was doing.”

Reportedly, the mayor’s lawyers insist that this is a political issue that should be decided in the voting booths and not in the courts. They want the case dismissed.

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