Can’t keep a lid on this

“Keep a lid on things.”

That’s the motto of the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker, we have learned this week.

Given the relentless drumbeat of scandals – MBTA, RMV, DCF, State Police etc. – Tall Deval et al. may very well need a bigger lid, very soon, but at least they’ve got a plan.

Keep a lid on things.

The catchphrase is included in a lawsuit filed this week by Tall Deval’s ex-driver, Robert McGinn, who was rewarded for his pro-bono campaign services with a $133,000-a-year job as chief of the Environmental Police.

McGinn’s boss was Matt Beaton, the $156,000-a-year Energy & Environmental Affairs Secretary, a former state rep from Shrewsbury, which is Ground Zero of the Republican hackerama in Massachusetts – more on that later.

McGinn is suing the state, claiming he was fired last fall for not fixing speeding tickets and generally not turning a blind eye to the depredations of Tall Deval’s coatholders. Here’s the money quote, in paragraph 66:

“Secretary Beaton advised Col. McGinn to keep a ‘lid on things’ because no one wanted to hear of any problems before the upcoming Gubernatorial election.”

There’s an old saying, No man is a hero to his valet. And certainly, no politician is a hero to his driver. Because they see and hear too much. That’s why a winning candidate traditionally rewards his driver – usually a cop – with a nice, fat job, like chief of the Environmental Police.

But now that he’s been fired, McGinn has no need to keep a lid on things – on the contrary, he has every reason to tear the roof off the sucker, as Parliament Funkadelic would say.

There’s a treasure trove of new dirt in McGinn’s complaint. He says Beaton asked him to dip into a police database “to ‘look into’ a new neighbor” of Beaton’s because the secretary’s wife “had concerns about the neighbor’s potential criminal past.”

McGinn says he was also ordered to send his cops to work on for-profit private events, even though they were being paid with federal grants. That doesn’t exactly rise to the level of the crooked Troop E staties embezzling hundreds of thousands in federal grant money with their ghost shifts on the Pike, but it’s not a good look.

It may shock you to learn that these hacks were asking McGinn, a former state cop, to fix their tickets. Beaton reached out to him twice in March 2016 about a $245 speeding ticket he’d gotten in Framingham. A copy of the ticket is attached to the complaint. McGinn told him he couldn’t fix the ticket. Now you know how someone loses a $133,000 sinecure in the hackerama.

How bitter is McGinn? Not only has he turned on Baker and Beaton, he’s also pointing the finger at a fellow driver for a pol, namely, the chauffeur of Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

“The same question regarding two speeding tickets was asked of Col. McGinn by Polito’s campaign driver who had been stopped for speeding by the State Police and Framingham Police while operating Ms. Polito’s personal car.”

Where’s the professional courtesy here, Col. McGinn? Whatever happened to, what happens in Framingham, stays in Framingham?

During the 2014 campaign, Karyn Polito was often driven around by a woman from Framingham named Janet Leombruno. Leombruno is now running for councilor at large in Framingham, and Polito headlined a fundraiser for Leombruno Wednesday night at Ristorante Fiore in the North End.

Calls to both Polito and Leombruno were not returned yesterday.

This kind of open and gross hackery is only to be expected in a secretariat that includes the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which is where every administration sends its most unemployable hacks.

In this administration, it’s a Shrewsbury thing. Polito, Beaton, it’s where Baker-Polito hold their annual hack picnic every summer. It’s the hometown of Leigha Genduso, the poster gal for State Police dysfunction.

Let’s go to Paragraph 58. McGinn calls Beaton to tell him he can’t find one of his superior officers is not on duty because “instead he was still in his hometown of Shrewbury.”

But it’s not only Shrewsbury hacks infesting the DCR. You know that hack Thomas Bowes, the Braintree payroll patriot who is in charge of the RMV’s Merit Rating Bureau and the 53 mail bins full of unmailed suspension notices.

When his son Thomas Jr. needed a no-heavy-lifting summer job (with overtime) a few years back, guess where he was hired? At DCR, as one of the “rangers” in the Smoky the Bear hats.

Speaking of which, Bowes’ $95,000-a-year deputy director was a guy named Tom Bonarrigo. The terrible accident occurred June 21. Guess who put in his papers at the State Retirement Board July 1 – that’s right – Tom Bonarrigo. His last day on the payroll was July 12.

I guess he’s trying to keep a lid on things. Tall Deval should be so lucky.

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