Cronyism: Part II

We are working hard to keep our cool after getting yet more reports of cronyism in the Archdiocese of Boston.  With so many former Abington Bank employees now working in key roles at the Pastoral Center, “Fr. Ned” wrote and asked us to sponsor a contest to rename the archdiocese.  His two submissions were “Abington Bank Employee Alumni Association” and  “Archdiocesan Bank of Boston.”  If readers have other ideas, feel free to send them via confidential email or public comments.

You read in Conflicts of Interest Part I and Part II about how Ann Carter, a former Abington Bank board member whose PR firm is paid perhaps as much as $1 million/year or more from the Archdiocese, played a key role in hiring former Abington Bank CEO James McDonough as Chancellor.  (Ann did PR for Jim at the bank and made lots of money when the bank was sold, and now Jim watches over how much Ann’s firm is paid after she helped hire him).  We wrote to the archdiocese and Ms. Carter asking for answers to a few questions about the conflict of interest and are still awaiting a response. Earlier this week you learned how a former head teller and branch manager at Abington Bank, Judy H, became executive assistant/office manager for Cardinal O’Malley with no prior church experience after a “worldwide search.”  There is more we can barely keep up with.

The director of real estate for the Archdiocese today is Ms. Deborah D, who replaced a long-time archdiocesan employee.  Here’s what they do:

The Real Estate office assists in the sale, purchase or lease of all Archdiocesan real estate as well as all parish property. The Real Estate office acts a liaison between the realtors, attorneys, tenants and the parish. The Real Estate office facilitates the hiring of all appraisers, realtors and counsel, when needed. Additionally the Real Estate office will manage all approvals for sale/lease/purchase transactions.

Where did Ms. D work before this that prepared her for her job in the church selling real estate?  You guessed it–she was at Abington Bank, as Loans Review Officer.

Then there’s the new “executive assistant” in the Chancellor’s office, Ms. Joanne S.  Where did Mrs. S. work before this?  She  is listed as “clerk” in this Abington Bank proxy statement.  Many insiders report that Chancellor McDonough’s exec admin makes more than $100K/year.  Apparently a loyal, long-time admin for the chancellor’s office was pushed out on “early retirement” to make room for the newcomer.

The Chancellor’s office also has on staff a full-time “operations associate,” Mr. Jed H.  We are told he is a  recent college grad with no prior church experience getting paid a salary well above normal college grad starting salaries and more than many long-time Pastoral Center employees. We are trying to determine exactly what he does that is different from the administrative staff in the Chancellor’s office. [UPDATE: We have been told he may no longer be at the archdiocese]t

Is anyone wondering how much of the 18% tithe they need from parishes is going toward these sorts of expenses?  Didn’t they just lay people off to save money and balance the budget?

Not to be forgotten about is Mrs. Carol G, the Executive Director of Human Resources, who oversees all of this hiring.  She of course reports to the Chancellor himself.  Mrs. G has also become a protege of Fr. Bryan H, who apparently authorized having Ann Carter (the PR vendor) on the search committees for both  the Chancellor and the communications secretary despite the clear-cut conflict of interest.

It is normally a positive sign when a business leader attracts former employees who want to work for him or her again–BUT that holds when it is a similar business or organization.  If Jim McDonough were CEO of another bank, it would be a good thing for him to bring former “rock-star” employees experienced in banking to work for him again where their experience would help the business.  But this is the Catholic Church, not a bank.  It’s a non-profit that can’t afford to pay high salaries with a mission to spread the gospel and carry out the saving ministry of Jesus Christ, not a bank where people get paid high salaries and the goal is making money.

To summarize for today, we reference several of the Pastoral Center Operating Principles

We seek to give glory and honor to God and rebuild trust in Christ’s Church, following the guidance of the Holy Father and Archbishop of Boston.

We treat each other and those whom we serve fairly, with dignity and with honor, holding ourselves accountable for our commitment to service.

In consideration of the grave conflicts of interest this blog has reported already, we welcome your comments on how you think the archdiocese is doing in the trust and accountability departments these days?

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2 Responses to Cronyism: Part II

  1. [...] and deception at high levels in the archdiocese.  As a reminder from what we reported last July in “Cronyism”, the head of real estate for RCAB, Deb Dillon, worked for Jim McDonough at the Abington Bank. A [...]

  2. [...] you want to get a job in real estate development.  Long-time readers will recall how the current Director of Real Estate for the Boston Archdiocese was a loan officer at the Abington Savings Bank with then-CEO Jim McDonough and also had no prior experience with real estate or property [...]

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