An exit sweetener

Ousted DCR commissioner cashes in on way out the door

CAROL SANCHEZ, the former commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, pocketed $8,200 for doing nothing after she was apparently pushed out the door in early November.

Sanchez served seven months as commissioner before abruptly announcing her departure, prompting speculation of bad blood between Sanchez and her boss, Matthew Beaton, the secretary of energy and environmental affairs. Sanchez, however, said she left her state job to keep afloat the Marlborough accounting firm she founded in 2004 until a sale could be arranged.

Sanchez received a severance agreement in connection with her departure that called for her to serve as a special advisor to Beaton for less than a month. The severance agreement called for Sanchez  to ™perform tasks required by the secretary, including, but not limited to, a transition memorandum.∫

A public records request for the transition memorandum as well as any other documents prepared by Sanchez in her capacity as special advisor yielded nothing.

The salary arrangement was not included in the severance agreement, but a DCR official said the agency paid her a prorated amount of her $125,000 annual salary.

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A person familiar with the situation said the transition memorandum became unnecessary when Beaton installed Dan Sieger, his assistant secretary for environment, as interim commissioner. The person said Sieger oversaw DCR and was already familiar with its operations.

Sanchez did not return several messages left for her at her accounting firm.