That Baker fundraiser invitation suggests that the Suffolk University board of trustees, try as it might, just can’t untangle itself from George Regan.
Among the list of hosts for the event are five current or former trustees including controversial former board chairman Andrew Meyer himself.
Critics say Regan has pulled strings behind the scenes at Suffolk for decades and used the school to help his other clients profit, but the PR guru insists otherwise.
“Give me a break, it’s a small city,” Regan said about the trustees on the invitation. “I’ve been around the city for a while; I know more people on more boards than the Suffolk board.”
Suffolk erupted in turmoil earlier this year when Meyer’s board tried to oust new president Margaret McKenna.
One of McKenna’s apparent mistakes? Threatening to end Regan’s $300,000 annual contract with the school.
When she finally did cut ties with his firm in February, Regan circulated a nasty letter about McKenna, full of personal and professional allegations.
In the end, Regan’s accusations led to an outside investigation whose findings prompted trustees to fire McKenna. (Meyer at that point was already off the board.)
The other trustees on the invitation are Julie Kahn, who works for Regan’s PR shop; Bob Sheridan; Marshall Sloane; and David Southworth.
The board members have said Regan exerted no undue influence over them. Kahn, Sheridan, and Southworth are expected to step down this month, when their five-year terms expire.
“I like the guy,” Meyer said about Regan. “I have many people that I like, and I like the governor, and this is about the governor.”
Meyer said he hasn’t spoken with the other trustees on the invitation since his board term ended in May. “There’s no cabal, if that would be the right word, that exists,” he said.
Regan said Meyer, when he joined the board a decade ago, asked him to help recruit trustees and he did so happily.
“I played a big, big role in the way that school is today,” Regan said. But, he said, he never called on them for a vote.Laura Krantz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @laurakrantz.