The office accountant who wrote former Chelsea Housing Authority executive director Michael McLaughlin checks for more than $200,000 on his way out the door is a longtime family friend who also helped him remove boxes from the housing authority after the office closed Wednesday night, according to an employee and a state official. James McNichols, who worked as a nightclub bouncer in Boston for nine years before he was hired to handle the finances of the Housing Authority in 2000, issued three checks totalling $200,948 to McLaughlin, who quit abruptly after Governor Deval Patrick demanded his resignation amid the furor over his $360,000 pay package.
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