At $184,694, being a Massachusetts judge is good work … if you can get it

How many part-time $184,694-a-year hack state judgeships are enough for the Brennan family?

Three aren’t enough, apparently, nor are four if you include Thomas “Daddy” Brennan, a 79-year-old retired judge who since 2011 has been pocketing not one but two state pensions (as well as working for years as a “recall” judge for yet more cash).

It’s one thing to feed at the public trough, but the Brennans have been licking the plate for at least three generations. And now, thanks to Gov. Charlie Baker, they’re about to wedge yet another snout into the trough.

All of these world-class greed heads were appointed by Republican governors, by the way. If you consider Tall Deval a Republican, that is.

The Brennans’ latest nationwide search is appearing before the Governor’s Council this morning.

C’mon down, brother-in-law Patrick Haggan, up for a state judgeship, the fifth one in the same family over the last 20 years. He’s only married to a Brennan, but he’s got the family tradition down pat. At age 50, Haggan is already collecting his first state pension — $60,864 a year.

Haggan grabbed a public paycheck with the Suffolk County district attorney for 23 years, then departed when Rachael Rollins was elected. In February 2019, Haggan filed for his initial state pension, so he’s been practicing law in the Dreaded Private Sector (DPS) for … 19 months.

That’s about par for the course for the Brennan family. They all seem allergic to real work.

Let’s go down the Brennan family tree, starting with Tom Brennan, who retired as a judge in 2011 when he turned 70. His father, by the way, was once the mayor of Somerville — James “Sligo” Brennan. As mayor, Sligo succeeded Larry Bretta, who was better known by his Bureau of Prisons number, 14637-038.

When Tom Brennan was appointed to his judgeship by Gov. Paul Cellucci in 1999, he listed his private sector experience as “January 1969-May 1970.”

He now grabs a judicial pension of $86,250 and a second pension (from his earlier hack job as a prosecutor) of $48,665.

Tom’s son Robert got his robes from Gov. Jane Swift three years later, in 2002. He went to Union College — same place as Swift’s brother. He now makes $184,694.

Robert became a judge after 13 months in private practice.

Moving right along, Robert is married to a woman who decided she too needed early retirement. (Even before the Panic of 2020, state judges “worked” no more than 35 weeks a year).

She applied under her maiden name — “Lynn Rooney.” She was eminently qualified after having worked in the DPS from June 1993 to October 1994.

When “Lynn Rooney” was appointed by Gov. Mitt Romney, his administration claimed they had no idea she was actually Mrs. Robert Brennan. She also created a stir by telling the Governor’s Council that she didn’t think the judicial salary, then $112,777, was enough.

Now she’s grabbing $184,694 a year up in Lawrence. Is that enough, Your Honor?

Next up was brother Michael. He got taken care in 2016 by Tall Deval. Michael was kind of the odd man out in the family — he had actually worked for a living, in the DPS, for 18 years.

But now he too is gainfully unemployed for $184,694 a year. It’s a family tradition.

Which brings us to Patrick Haggan, who will have his pro forma “virtual” hearing today at the State House.

He is of course a slam dunk to be confirmed — it’s professional courtesy by the Governor’s Council for a fellow hack. Not for nothing did Gov. James Michael Curley refer to the Governor’s Council as “the hock shop.”

I called Haggan’s downtown office repeatedly this week, offering him a chance to discuss his and his in-laws’ profound, multi-generational commitment to public service, not to mention double-dip state pensions.

When the phone didn’t ring, I knew it was Haggan, the family’s next double-dipper.

Have they gorged themselves enough yet at the public trough, the Brennans?

Consider how their latest “Republican” patron, the man Joe Biden calls “Charlie Parker,” needed only six months to plunge the state’s productive sector into a depression, with the worst unemployment rate in the nation, not to mention the third-highest death rate.

But not a single one of Charlie’s payroll patriots has missed a paycheck this year. Indeed, many, including the Brennans, are gleefully feasting off what little remains of the private sector after Tall Deval’s catastrophic governorship.

But there is at least one more Brennan out there who needs early retirement. That would be Mrs. Patrick Haggan, also known as Lynn Brennan.

Would you care to guess if Mrs. Haggan works in the public or in the Dreaded Private Sector?

You are correct, she is of course a payroll patriot, in the employ of Atty. Gen. Maura Healey, for “only” $71,400 a year.

The second Judge Lynn in the family? It’s only a matter time.

Can someone say nationwide search?

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