Middlesex Sheriff Retires and Will Resign

The Globe is reporting that James DiPaola – recently re-elected Middlesex Sheriff – has “retired” and will resign from his position as Sheriff in January, 2011 allowing Governor Patrick to appoint a replacement. Originally, planning to take advantage of complicated but legal pension provisions, DiPaola was retiring but was planning to continue serving as Middlesex Sheriff – collecting both his legal pension and his salary as Sheriff. According to a letter to Middlesex residents, a recent Globe interview caused him to rethink his situation and thus the decision to retire but also to resign as Sheriff.

This action by Sheriff DiPaola will have tremendous fall-out as the scrutiny of the Commonwealth’s pension system continues. The Governor and his administration have been working on pension reform with some success and will obviously push for more. As for the fall-out in the Middlesex Sheriff’s department – stay-tuned.

Read the story and about Globe reporter Sean Murphy’s role in the Sheriff’s decision-making along with the Sheriff’s letter at Boston.com here and here.

10 Responses to Middlesex Sheriff Retires and Will Resign

  1. Brian Flaherty says:

    These people are criminals. No wonder Rita Mercier, who works for DiPaola, wants to rescind the Home Rule Petition – they all look out for themselves and fattening their wallets.

  2. DickH says:

    DiPaola is only 57-years old, yet he is eligible to retire at maximum pension because his job is in a special “public safety” category that allows for retirement at such a (relatively) young age. (Most government employees must work well into their sixties attain maximum pension benefits). DiPaola did spend his entire adult life in public service in the air force, the Malden police, a state representative, and now sheriff.

    While the governor will appoint DiPaola’s successor, that appointment will only be until the next state election. That means the office of Middlesex County Sheriff will be on the ballot in 2012. That will be for the balance of the unexpired six-year term, so the office will be again on the ballot in 2016.

    Ironically, DiPaola himself was elected in a special election in 1996. See our Elections page for the full report, but here’s what I wrote about that year’s campaign for sheriff:

    “Republican Brad Bailey had been named by Governor Weld to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Middlesex County Sheriff John McGonigle and now Bailey was running for the the balance of the six year term. In the Democratic primary, State Representative Jim DiPaola of Malden won with 32,577 votes to the 21,091 received by Ed Kennedy of Lowell (former city councilor and Middlesex County Commissioner), the 10,500 votes of Ed Rideout of Cambridge and the 5613 votes of Leonard Golder of Stowe. DiPaola defeated Bailey in November, 310,699 to 247,397.”

  3. JoeS says:

    There is also an investigative article into the operations of all the State sheriff’s offices, citing a lack of transparency in their spending. It is difficult to judge whether the departments are being operated efficiently, but judging by the equipment on display at the parades, there has been a lot of money spent that way.

  4. Barbara Bond says:

    Although the Public Safety Pension Plan is slightly different, as is the Teachers’, from the Municipal Employees Pension Plan, I’m under the impression that if a person, who’s retired from the system and collecting a pension, returns to work for the State, then their Pension payments stop and they may even have to pay back what they’ve already received.

  5. Publius says:

    The Globe headline” A cunning scheme, a spark of conscience”
    got it wrong. The only reason the Sheriff did not proceed with the scheme was because the Globe had asked him about it. If the sheriff had a conscience, he would have not had started the process at all.

  6. Greg Page says:

    Sean P. Murphy also blew the lid off the Angelo Buonopane no-show scandal during the Romney Administration. Buonopane had a $108,000 appointed job as Director of the Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development but couldn’t be bothered to actually show up, let alone define the job or attempt to perform it. Murphy did old-fashioned stakeout stuff that turned out to be the smoking gun…great stuff, and a good reminder that big news institutions bring resources to bear that help them serve as a watchdog.

  7. Miss-X says:

    Did anyone see this post??

    Mr. Dipaolo:
    Lets set the record straight. You filed your retirement papers with the State retirement board on or about October 2, 2010; one full month before the November 4th election. You were caught by the Globe spotlight team and contacted by several Globe reporters on this issue. You then hastily try to cover your motives by penning a letter to the residents of Middlesex County–just days after your telephone conversations with the reporters–and then mass distribute your letter to various news agencies for immediate publication. Your ‘mea culpa’ does not cut it sir! You, Mr. High Sheriff of Middlesex County got caught with your hand in the cookie jar as did your predecessor, ‘Honest John McGonigle’.

    Perhaps now maybe the U.S. Attorney’s office (or by chance, but probably not, your buddy Martha Coakley, the A.G) will delve further into your office and its henchmen such as the retired Lt. Colonel from the state police collecting a pension and at the same time, a State paycheck for running your Framingham Civil Process office (while it seems that his official unmarked car is parked at his residence in Framingham, more than at the Sheriff’s office in Framingham) . And while on the subject of your civil process staffing; perhaps the powers-to- be will look into the fact of the former mbta bus driver running your Cambridge civil process office as, (please excuse me as I try not to laugh) your ‘Chief Deputy Sheriff’, with no college degree or formal education and according to state payroll records raking in over 90K per year and also his wife a secretary in the same office draining the state payroll to the tune of over 76K per year……maybe it is time to move on to other things Mr. Sheriff….before you have more ‘sleepless’ nights after you have been indicted!

  8. sjmcnamara says:

    As I understand it the pension system in MA has four groups (1, 2, 3, 4) most employees fall into group one, group two has (probation, court officers, etc. fall in this category), group three is only state police, group four is public safety ( municipal police, fire, correctional officers, & ADAs, but not AAG)