It’s a hack convention at Massachusetts authority

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has always been the ultimate South Boston hackerama, even more so than the MBTA – “Mr. Bulger’s Transportation Authority,” as ex-House Speaker Thomas “Felon” Finneran used to call it.

So this morning, let’s take a look at the MCCA payroll.

C’mon down, US Rep. Steve Lynch of South Boston. The MCCA is in his district, and since succeeding Whitey Bulger’s 66-inch-high brother Billy as boss of Wards 6 and 7, he now has more than a little clout when it comes to supplying snouts for the public trough that is the MCCA.

Steve Lynch was asked this week, how many people have you put on the MCCA payroll?

“While this office does not maintain an archive of correspondence,” Lynch’s office responded, “we would guess that several people may be employed at the MCCA who during the past 18 years received letters of reference from our office.”

Let’s start with Fred Peterson, recently departed “deputy director” for $129,624.17 a year. He used to be a State House coat holder for Lynch after he succeeded Whitey Bulger’s brother as the state senator from Southie, prior to Lynch’s election to Congress in 2001.

“It is safe to assume that Sen. Lynch would have supported Fred Peterson’s job search.”

Robert Fowkes is Lynch’s “district director” in the city. He also plays the guitar behind the solon on Hibernian musical occasions. After a nationwide search, Fowkes’ uncle Jimmy is on the MCCA payroll as “sr guest services associate.” Part time, I guess, for $5201.25 a year.

“Congressman Lynch was not involved in James’ efforts to obtain employment at the MCCA.”

Steve Lynch has a sister named Sheila. In an amazing coincidence, there is a woman named Sheila Lynch on the MCCA payroll. For the record, the Congressman says the Sheila Lynch on the MCCA payroll as a “guest services associate” is not his sister Sheila Lynch.

In Southie, an otherwise unemployable layabout sometimes runs for elective office not actually expecting to win, but in the hopes of getting a hack job to make him go away.

Meet Bobby O’Shea. He unsuccessfully ran for state rep against Brian Wallace in 2002, then contributed to Wallace two years later. After a nationwide search, O’Shea is now the MCCA’s “community liaison” for $73,142.36 a year.

Arthur Fritch III was a long-time coat holder for, among others, Cong. Joe Moakley and City Councilor Jimmy Kelly, two long-deceased Southie pols. But Arthur lingers on as “SR Event MGR” at the convention center for $86,585.23 a year.

Speaking of City Hall, where other Fritch relatives have died and gone to heaven, specifically Arthur’s sister Ellen as City Council stenographer (Jimmy Kelly hired her), city hacks can always seek asylum at the MCCA. Christine Pulgini of Hyde Park used to run the Boston Licensing Board until last fall. Would you care to guess where she “works” now, as “associate general counsel?”

The late Mayor Mumbles Menino had a couple of payroll Charlies from Charlestown by the name of Callahan. Ed Callahan was in HR for the BPD in that dismal era when Mumbles Menino Jr. was being promoted to detective. Eddie made the tragic error of endorsing Charlotte Golar Richie for mayor in ’13 and is now retired. His theory was Anybody But Marty – which sounded expedient until Marty Walsh was elected.

Eddie’s little brother Dennis Callahan was interred at the old BRA. Now he’s been disinterred and moved over to, you guessed it, the MCCA. That Ward 2 hack is now “deputy director” for $174,056.81 a year.

Are Republicans welcome in the MCCA hackerama? Of course they are! Because there are only two parties in Massachusetts – a party for those who have hack jobs, the ins, and a party for the rest of us, who actually have to get up in the morning and go to work to make a living. Call us the outs.

C’mon down, Chris Donato of Hyde Park. He was one of the last, if not the final, Republican to run for the state legislature from the city of Boston, specifically Ward 18. Got 42 percent of the vote against Angelo Scaccia in 1996.

Now making $162,708.02 a year as “general counsel” of the Convention Center.

Nathan “Nate” Little is the former executive director of the Republican State Committee. A few years back, he was the GOP lightweight who filed all the “charges” with the State Ethics Commission that went nowhere. Paid off bigtime for Nate, though.

He is now “director of communications & external affairs” for the MCCA. Makes $136,185.57 a year.

Until recently, the MCCA was run by a classic Southie payroll patriot by the name of James Rooney. After 23 years, he retired from the MBTA with a full pension – at age 41! Now he’s at the Chamber of Commerce. There’s a Michael Rooney on the MCCA payroll, “sound tech foreman,” $116,280,46 a year.

It’s not Jimmy’s brother, but is it possible that this other Rooney is… related?

The late mayor Kevin White, dead these seven years, last elected in 1979, once had a police driver from Southie named McSorley. Now the MCCA has a golf-cart driver – “transportation agent” – with the same name. Coincidence?

The only mayor ever from Southie was Ray Flynn – he just spoke to Tom Ellis’ funeral Wednesday. Raybo’s BPD driver was named John “Swerve” Swirbalus. Now there’s a female Swirbalus on the convention center payroll, another “guest services associate.”

Judging by this payroll, if the MCCA had a motto, it would have to be, “Forgotten, but not gone.”

Join Howie's Mailing List!

You have successfully subscribed!