March 6, 2018/Media

Baker’s Latest Patronage Scandal Slammed by Massachusetts Democrats

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Emily Fitzmaurice, Massachusetts Democratic Party, 617-939-0808 

Baker’s Latest Patronage Scandal Slammed by Massachusetts Democrats

BOSTON – Today’s latest report of mismanagement and unethical patronage by the Baker Administration prompted the following response from Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford: 

“The voters of Massachusetts are confronted almost daily with example after example of mismanagement and patronage by the Baker administration. Today’s story involves the wholly unqualified neighbor and donor of a cabinet secretary who received a high paying job overseeing new software systems at the Department of Revenue.

“The resulting fiasco has endangered the safety and security of tens of thousands of Massachusetts resident by exposing their personal information to internet hackers. 

“We call on the Governor to accept responsibility for these failures and to launch an honest and transparent investigation in to the hiring process for this important security position.”


Background on Patronage Hires in the Baker Administration

In May, The Boston Globe reported that Anthony G. Virgilio, the son of supporters of Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, was given a newly-created state job that did not require a public posting to attract applicants or a background check, even after he left another state job after being charged with operating under the influence and leaving the scene of a crash.

Governor Baker hired one of his campaign operatives, Matthew Sisk, to serve at the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s deputy commissioner. Sisk resigned in October 2016 after being caught inappropriately using state vehicles to get through heavy traffic. This came after Sisk and his boss, Commissioner Leo Roy, were forced to take a week’s leave of absence without pay after it was discovered that they arranged for Baker supporters to be transported by state-owned golf carts to watch a show by the Boston Pops on the Fourth of July. 

According to The Boston Globe, “more than half a dozen hires in Governor Charlie Baker’s environmental agencies have political and personal connections at the highest levels.”

The political considerations of the Baker administration have influenced staffing decisions in other forms as well. In 2016, a staffer in the EEA was reprimanded by a Baker loyalist, harassed, and ultimately fired simply because her fiancé planned on running against state Senator Donald Humason Jr. (R-Westfield). After an investigation, two EEA staffers were fired for misconduct and harassment.