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A new low for Democrats at the public trough

CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director
617-523-5005 ext. 245

WOBURN — New reports documenting how the Hampden County Retirement Board has been functioning as a public money and benefits grab bag for career Democrat politicians have prompted Massachusetts Republican Party Jim Lyons to call for comprehensive audits of the commonwealth’s other 105 retirement boards.

An audit by the state Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) found that the board was bilked out of $235,000 thanks to “website scams,” while one ex-Democrat senator (registered Beacon Hill lobbyist and Agawam town counsel Stephen Buoniconti) working as a part-time attorney for the HCRB had the publicly-funded board pay 90 percent of his health insurance premiums.

Buoniconti has since resigned from the HCRB and dismissed his scheme as “an honest mistake.”

(Former State Sen. Stephen Buoniconti)

Meanwhile, PERAC also determined that HCRB Chairman Richard Theroux, who claimed in billing invoices to have attended several work-related conferences on Cape Cod, billed the board for lodging fees despite sloppy records suggesting he stayed at his $390,000 beachside Mashpee condo.

“What people need to understand is that Democrats like Buoniconti and Theroux feel emboldened to do this kind of stuff because they assume nobody is watching,” Lyons said Tuesday. “Thankfully, they got caught, but I can’t help but wonder what else is going on that we don’t know about at the commonwealth’s other 105 retirement boards.”