From today’s Boston Globe:
The state’s highest court, firmly embracing a …conclusion that the ___Department is riddled with fraud and “systemic corruption,’’ ordered…officials yesterday to move swiftly to fire the…commissioner, suspend his senior lieutenants, and ask prosecutors to weigh criminal charges.
“Such abuse and corruption are intolerable,’’ members of the Supreme Judicial Court said in a statement.
The independent counsel…concluded that…senior executives oversaw a hiring system that was rigged “on a grand scale,’’ conducting…phony job interviews when the positions had already been promised to politically connected candidates.
“The fraud begins at the top…and it extends through most of the hierarchy..who participate in interviewing candidates for hiring and promotion,” wrote …a prominent private lawyer tapped by the state’s highest court to investigate the Department after a..report…documented its deep culture of politicized patronage hiring and described the…___Department as “an employment agency for the well-connected.’’
Who could the organization be? Who would engage in such practices?
This article is about the Massachusetts State Probation Department. But, without this blog mentioning any names, can any readers come up with any other Boston-area organizations whose name might be substituted in the blank?
The Globe article cites strong language by the court, and the criminal penalties could be significant for those involved.
Coincidentally, we have happened to observe the following occurring inside of a certain non-profit religious organization which the state has some oversight for by virtue of it being a tax-exempt organization:
Hiring Politically-Connected Candidates
- This Catholic non-profit publicly announced a search for a new development chief with names of members of a search committee, when in fact no candidates were interviewed, the position was not advertised in relevant industry publications, and the position went to a person politically and professionally connected to the search committee chair. The candidate had actually been identified before the search was even announced.
- This Catholic non-profit hired as head of communications a person who had political and family connections to the PR firm who chaired the search committee. More qualified candidates not considered.
- This Catholic non-profit hired as chief financial officer, a person who had connections to a search committee member who happened to have served on the Board with him and profited handsomely from that service at the bank where he was previously CEO.
Overpaying Executive Leaders with General Donor Funds
- This Catholic non-profit organization hired for a schools administration position, a person whose salary of $325,000/year is higher on a per-student basis than the publicly-disclosed salaries of any other public or parochial school superintendent in the country. If adjusted on a per-student basis with the closest regional peer, the salary would be $67,000 per year less. The members of the search committee were never publicly disclosed, and sources indicate the person hired for the position may have actually served on the same committee that hired her.
Overlooking Conflicts of Interest
This Catholic non-profit has a “Finance Council” which is supposed to provide objective advice on finances, budgets, hiring/firing of the chief financial officer of the organization, and help with other financial management-related matters. However…
- The council’s Conflict of Interest policy is not publicly published.
- The policy is sufficiently weak or unenforced such that it allowed onto the Council a former board member of the bank where the Catholic non-profit’s chief financial officer had been CEO, as though there was no conflict of interest today. In the finance council role, that former board member–who personally profited from prior board service with the current chief financial officer–will be asked to objectively assess whether the chief financial officer should have his employment renewed or terminated.
Failing to Abide by Organization’s Own Governance Charter
The “Finance Council” for this Catholic non-profit states in its charter that members must be “Catholics in good standing.” Yet the council of the non-profit apparently violates its own charter by permitting on the council a person who is Chair of a private healthcare company that profits from performing more than 4,000 procedures annually that directly violate a core principle and belief of the Catholic non-profit. If a “finance council” member of our Catholic non-profit benefits from his leadership of another organization that violates core principles and beliefs of the Catholic Church, how could they be still be “in good standing” with the Catholic organization? What would it take for a person to not be “in good standing”?
There are many other concerns, but we will stop here for today. As a commenter noted in our post of yesterday:
people who hold or who held the public’s trust are being dismissed from state government based on their participation in (or acquiescence to), fraudulent search and hiring procedures.
The state’s Supreme Judicial Court said, “Such abuse and corruption are intolerable.” Prosecutors are being asked to weigh criminal charges.
What if the Catholic non-profit were, hypothetically speaking, the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston?
What is the reaction of the non-profit?
Where is the leader? What does the leader say about this?
Who will be accountable for these practices?
Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”
Has the house of Jesus been made into a “den of thieves”?
Who will drive out the money-changers?
Stay tuned for more in our next exciting episode.