Ethics and Open Government

Baker public records stance referred to Healey

Baker public records stance referred to Healey

Galvin’s office urges AG to compel governor’s compliance

THE STATE’S SUPERVISOR OF PUBLIC RECORDS said Gov. Charlie Baker failed to comply with an administrative order to produce documents and referred the matter to Attorney General Maura Healey for action. The referral to Healey’s office marks a new direction for the public records office, which reports to Secretary of State William Galvin. Baker and(...)

Read More »

For Arroyo, probate job no soft landing pad

For Arroyo, probate job no soft landing pad

Controversy renews questions about electing obscure county officials

This wasn’t how the story was supposed to end. When Felix Arroyo was elected Suffolk County Register of Probate in 2014, the former Boston city councilor was supposed to sail off into obscurity, collecting a six-figure salary for a post no one pays attention to and then enjoying the spoils of a nice public pension(...)

Read More »

Finneran loses pension appeal

Finneran loses pension appeal

SJC says lies tied to role as speaker

THE STATE’S HIGHEST COURT has rejected an appeal by former House speaker Thomas Finneran to reinstate his pension, saying the one-time legislative leader’s lies during testimony in a federal lawsuit were related to his position and taking his retirement money away did not constitute an “excessive fine.” The Supreme Judicial Court overturned a 2015 ruling(...)

Read More »

1984? Try 10 years earlier

Critics of President Donald Trump’s 26-day tenure liken it to an Orwellian world, where “alternative facts” and “fake news” mean the opposite of what we’ve always believed. But with the breathtaking events of the past 24 to 72 hours, a better comparison than 1984 might be 10 years earlier and the siege of the Nixon administration.(...)

Read More »

Baker rips ‘irresponsible’ pay raise

Baker rips ‘irresponsible’ pay raise

State GOP targets freshman Dems

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GOV. CHARLIE BAKER needled the legislative pay hikes that lawmakers approved for themselves this week as “fiscally irresponsible,” but defended the Legislature’s process and stopped short of saying he’ll lobby lawmakers to sustain the veto he handed down on Friday. The controversial $18 million package of pay raises for lawmakers, judges(...)

Read More »

Baker to veto pay raise

Baker to veto pay raise

Says state's fiscal outlook makes salary hike unwise

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE HOURS AFTER FORMALLY RECEIVING their plan, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday afternoon informed legislative Democrats that he intends to veto a controversial package of pay raises worth $18 million for lawmakers, judges and constitutional officers in a move that may carry more political weight for the Republican governor than practical implications.(...)

Read More »

Baker hints at pay raise veto

Baker hints at pay raise veto

But House passes bill with room to spare

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said little has changed to sway him since he threatened to veto a legislative pay raise bill two years ago, but said he’ll wait to see the final legislation now making its way through the Legislature before making his decision. Baker’s comments on Wednesday came minutes after the House passed a controversial(...)

Read More »

MassHousing conflict?

MassHousing conflict?

Official failed to disclose ties to father, girlfriend

THE STATE’S CONFLICT of interest law seems pretty straightforward. A public official may not participate in any matter in which she or a member of her immediate family has a financial interest. But real life, as illustrated by a situation at the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, is rarely that simple. CommonWealth received a tip recently(...)

Read More »

Baker’s record on records

Baker’s record on records

Governor withheld documents in 33 instances

Over the past two years, Gov. Charlie Baker has responded to 33 requests for public records by either withholding the information in its entirety or releasing it in redacted form. Baker’s record on records requests, which itself was obtained through a public records request, aligns with his view that his office is not subject to(...)

Read More »