Governor Patrick, either through PERAC or through legislation, needs to put the Essex County Retirement Board into receivership until it can demonstrate a minimal level of compliance with basic standards of transparency, ethical conduct, and board governance. It seems support for this position is growing.
What should be the final straw occurred at a meeting last week when the board tried to reelect Tim Bassett (yep, that Tim Bassett) after the Essex County DA had ruled that a previous election was invalid. And the state’s pension oversight agency, PERAC, reiterated that they alone had the right to elect the chairman.
The board’s blatant unwillingness to comply with the legal and ethical standards set by the Commonwealth are the latest demonstration that this is entity is out of control and requires oversight.
It is long past time to ‘craft a solution’ or ‘work with all parties to resolve this’, its time for the Legislature and the Executive to take decisive action.
(N.B. I’m using ‘board’ here to apply to all members past and present, with the notable exception of their newest member, Ipswich Town Treasurer Kevin Merz who has performed admirably as the sole source of reason on that entity.)