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Hiring of Patrick’s political crony for highway job raises more questions

THE GLOBE’S Dec. 18 editorial (“Amid cabinet shake-up, Patrick dismisses criticism too easily”) properly questions the sufficiency of the governor’s explanation for his administration’s hiring of politically connected Sheila Burgess as the state’s highway-safety director despite a long list of driving violations.

Calling this hiring a “breakdown in protocol,” as the governor did, leaves the public with far too much uncertainty about how this shameful hiring occurred. One has to wonder what exactly the proper “protocol” is in the Patrick administration for hiring political cronies. This protocol does not appear in the hiring guidelines published by the state’s Human Resources Division.

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Indeed, that document asserts that “All management positions should be posted in order to encourage an open, fair, and transparent hiring process.” The document goes on to permit waivers from the posting process based on a “documented business need.”

Is that the loophole the crony-hiring protocol drives its truck through? Surely this protocol must be written somewhere, and not left to the discretion of each agency hiring manager. And it ought to be a public record. I trust that the Globe will track it down.

Allan Fierce


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