Severance agreement turns into consulting contract

Chapman lands consulting job with Mass. Tech Collaborative

JOHN CHAPMAN, the former undersecretary of consumer affairs and business regulation in the Baker administration, seems to live a charmed life.

The Republican landed his job in 2015, shortly after losing a race for Congress to Rep. William Keating. Four years later he left, with the agency issuing a press release quoting him as saying “it is time to pursue new projects and give others the opportunity to take on leadership roles.”

 A source at the agency, however, said the parting of ways was not amicable. Still, Chapman landed on his feet. A paper trail obtained through public records requests indicates Chapman, an employee at will entitled to no additional compensation, received a severance agreement entitling him to $38,250 spread out over three months, plus additional money for unused personal days and vacation time.

The severance agreement, which was negotiated prior to Chapman’s departure, included the wording of the press release.

Three weeks into the severance deal, Chapman and the Baker administration agreed to void their earlier agreement with no additional money changing hands. That same week Chapman signed a contract to serve as a consultant to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, a quasi-public authority, at a rate of $85 an hour plus expenses, up to a maximum of $39,000 for a four-month project.

The contract said Chapman was hired to “support the growth of the financial technology sector in Massachusetts.” The agency said he will provide expertise to the MassTech’s innovation institute in the area of “fin tech.” The contract was not put out to bid and Chapman submitted no proposal to land the job.

At least five other key officials in the Baker administration left office this year, but Chapman was the only one who got a severance package.

Chapman did not return phone calls, and officials within the Baker administration and at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative declined comment other than to confirm Chapman had landed a consulting contract.