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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Is Massachusetts Ready To Steal The Stimulus Money?

AAPP: In my home town, of Boston, Massachusetts, the crooks and liars are ready to steal the stimulus money. As reported by The Boston Globe, The real estate developer chosen by Governor Deval Patrick to distribute billions of dollars in federal stimulus money has been receiving a state pension ever since he was fired from his job at a state development agency in 1995, according to state records.


Jeffrey A. Simon, 58, was tapped by the governor on Wednesday to the newly created job of director of infrastructure investment, which will pay him $150,000 a year. The governor promptly posted a summary of Simon's résumé on his website after the appointment, listing a distinguished career as a real estate specialist in government and the private sector, with expertise in redeveloping military bases.

But what the résumé posting did not say was that Simon was terminated in 1995 from his state job overseeing the redevelopment of Fort Devens.

The governor and his staff also did not disclose that, under a Massachusetts pension law intended to protect patronage hires from retribution, his firing entitled him to begin collecting an enhanced state pension while he was in his mid-40s.

Simon could not be reached for comment. His retirement records do not include a reason for his dismissal from the agency where he worked in the mid-1990s, the Massachusetts Government Land Bank. His official résumé suggests he left the Land Bank because he was recruited for a similar job by the government of Bermuda.

A spokesman for Patrick, Joe Landolfi, provided a statement last night that said the administration knew Simon had departed state government. The statement did not address the questions of Simon's pension or his dismissal from the agency, however.

"Mr. Simon was fully vetted prior to being offered the position of director of infrastructure investment. He disclosed that he retired from state service more than a decade ago," Landolfi said. "He is eminently qualified to serve in this critical role, and we are confident he will successfully ensure federal stimulus funds are invested responsibly and transparently."

State retirement records show that Simon has been paid $29,000 to $32,000 a year since December 1995 with his enhanced, early pension. He has collected $403,751.84 in all, according to state records.

Simon will forgo the pension payments while he serves in his new state job, according to administration officials. More HERE

I guess Black Agenda Report was right. Black Folks will get the short end regarding the Stimulus Package. As The Black Agenda Report noted, Obama's economic stimulus plan is built around "shovel-ready" projects already vetted by the states. That means "Mississippi will be enabled to do more of what Mississippi always does." More HERE

Note: Let's include northern Mississippi in the equation, Massachusetts.

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