“This has been the most painful thing in my life other than watching a family member pass away,” Tierney said.
Asked by a reporter if his wife resents him for anything that happened — the Eremians have claimed Tierney “railroaded” their sister to plead guilty to save her husband’s political career — Tierney seemed genuinely surprised by the question.
“I hope not,” he said. “I hope she loves me. I know I love her.”
He said he’d seen no indication that she resented him.
The controversy surrounding his criminal brothers-in-law has dogged Tierney since his wife was charged in 2010.
The scandal ratcheted up again last week when Daniel Eremian told The Salem News outside a Boston courtroom that John Tierney “knew everything” about the family business and was “the biggest liar in the world” for claiming otherwise. A day later, Robert Eremian, now a federal fugitive still living in Antigua, backed up his brother, saying Tierney knew about the business.
Tierney has maintained since the beginning that he learned of the Eremians’ illegal gambling empire only when the federal charges were levied — a claim many have found hard to swallow.
He has often cited a 2002 court order, in which a federal judge, U.S. district attorney and a parole officer signed off on allowing Robert Eremian to go back to Antigua to work as a software consultant at the betting company Off Shore Sports, as rationale for Tierney’s belief that the gambling operation was legal.
Federal investigators, however, say Eremian was actually the principal in a multimillion-dollar illegal gambling operation that employed upward of 50 people.
For several years after her brother returned to Antigua, Patrice Tierney managed a bank account in Salem where Robert Eremian deposited more than $7 million over the years, funds she used to pay her brother’s taxes and support his family in Massachusetts, occasionally using some money for herself, according to court documents.