Mass. Retirement Board Suspends Pension for Lobbyist

February 23, 2012 ( - The Massachusetts state retirement board voted to stop pension payments to lobbyist Richard W. McDonough.

The board concluded “there is no credible evidence” that he was doing full-time public work during the years he was listed as the public affairs director for an agency that serves special needs students, according to the Boston Globe. McDonough had been collecting $31,770 a year in pension benefits based on his work at the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative, whose former executive director faces charges that he pilfered public resources to give lavish salaries and benefits to himself and a small group of insiders, the Globe reports.   

Inspector General Gregory Sullivan said McDonough’s post at the collaborative “was literally a no-show job.” Sullivan found that McDonough’s position at the special education collaborative was a ruse to get him on the public payroll in order to get medical benefits and a pension.  

McDonough, once one of the state’s most powerful lobbyists, was convicted last year of corruption, along with his friend, former House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi.   

McDonough already received $96,515 in pension benefits, which is nearly $40,000 more than he paid into the retirement system.   

Retirement board hearing officer Michael R. Sweeney recommended that McDonough’s pension be terminated, saying, “The state Board of Retirement should also seek to recover benefits already paid to Mr. McDonough,” the news report said.