Retired hacks living large on the taxpayers

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Ex-Senate president Billy Bulger’s annual state pension is bigger than those of his four successors combined – by $64,000.

That’s this morning’s lesson from the hackerama – wedge your greedy snout into the public trough as early as possible if you want to grab the big, big kiss in the mail.

Here are the latest numbers from the state pension database:

William M. Bulger, 36 years in the legislature: $271,939 a year.

After Bulger as Senate president came the following, with their pensions included:

Tom Birmingham ($21,218), Robert Travaglini ($43,797), Therese Murray ($78,630) and Stanley Rosenberg ($63,877).

For the four of them together, that adds up to $207,522.

Of course, the man once known as the Corrupt Midget (CM) had several advantages on those who followed him, and I don’t just mean the benefits of his serial-killing, cocaine-dealing gangster brother Whitey.

When it comes to living large on the taxpayers, the CM’s big score was being appointed president of the University of Massachusetts. Word was he’d wanted to go onto the Supreme Judicial Court, but the Whitey taint was a little much, even for Gov. William Weld.

So as a consolation prize, the 65-inch-high pocket thug was handed the UMass presidency, which he quickly turned into a job that paid three or four times as much as the SJC – and set him up for the mega kiss in the mail which he’s been collecting now for 17 years.

Since he was forced out of UMass in 2003, Bulger had been pocketing just over $200,000 a year. In June, however, his wife Mary died, and the State Retirement Board confirms that Bulger has since shifted from pension Option C, which includes benefits for a survivor, to Option A, which is the straight payout.

Thus, he grabs almost $70,000 extra every year, which pushes his kiss in the mail up to $22,662 every month.

But the new pension numbers included more than just Billy’s bigger grab, which is now the third highest in the state.

My takeaway from the latest numbers is that if you want to be a payroll patriot who spends his golden years rolling in gold, you have three options:

The best option is higher education, so-called, followed by the State Police and the judiciary.

Let’s start with the scandal-scarred State Police. We’ve told you about the top earners, the former colonels and other brass, like Francis Hughes ($174,868.44 a year).

But when you run the state’s top 1,000 pension-grabbers, you will find a total of 93 retired troopers, none of whom is making less than $110,925 a year in their leisure.

That’s pretty impressive, considering that by my count, only six of the top 1,000 pensioners were former state legislators.

Behind Bulger came David Bartley, the former House speaker and president of Holyoke Community College — $156,886 a year. Like Bulger, he’s a hack lifer – first elected to the House in 1962, two years after the CM.

Then there’s Ken Lemanski, a back bencher 40 years back who cashed out to Westfield State. He now pockets $129,869 a year.

Coming next were a couple of solons-turned-judges: Doug Stoddart ($120,940) and Mike Creedon ($120,550). Then comes Bill Keating, a former rep, senator and district attorney. In addition to his $113,674 state pension, Keating is grabbing a Congressional salary of $170,000-plus.

Billy Bulger’s predecessor as Senate president was Kevin Harrington, who is deceased. But Kevin’s cousin, Nancy Harrington, became the president of Salem State College/University. Forgotten but not gone, she’s still taking down $165,899 a year.

And she’s not even close to being the highest paid ex-president. She came in well behind Dana Mohler-Faria of Bridgewater State ($184,980) and Dan Asquino of Mount Wachusett Community College ($174,370).

I looked up Asquino on the state comptroller’s payroll, and it indicates that when he retired in 2017 he got a “buyout” of $265,054.

Third-tier colleges, first-rate paychecks.

But wait, there is a bit of good news in the latest pension numbers. Remember the superior court judge Timothy “Touchy” Feeley? He had a real soft spot in his heart for sex offenders, future cop shooters and illegal aliens – especially if they were fentanyl dealers.

But Feeley’s gone, retired. That’s the good news. The bad news is, Touchy’s pension is now $112,548 a year.

Keep working. There’s almost a million fewer of us taxpayers now picking up the tab for these greedy tax-fattened hacks than there were a few months ago.

We have to work harder, to support the thousands of hacks making millions for doing nothing. They’re counting on us, now more than ever.

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