THE PATRICK RECORD
FACT: FEWER PEOPLE ON WELFARE NOW THAN UNDER BAKER
“The number of recipients is down from over 110,000 in the 1990s to 50,000 now, even in the midst of the worst national economy in generations.” (Herald, 10/11/10)
FACT: PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION HAS COLLECTED MILLIONS IN FRAUD RECOVERY
In 2008, the Department of Transitional Assistance created a Program Integrity Unit within the Department to prevent and combat welfare fraud through prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution. In FY10 alone, DTA collected over $4 million in repayments from present and former clients as a result of both intentional and unintentional program violations.
FACT: PATRICK-ADMINISTRATION HAS ADVOCATED AND SUPPORTED EFFORTS TO CRIMINALIZE PURCHASES OF ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO WITH EBT CASH
The Patrick-Murray Administration has been clear that it supports language in the budget to make the purchase of alcohol and tobacco with EBT cash assistance a criminal offense for both the individual and the vendor. The language contained a technical error that would have made it unenforceable. It has since been corrected and returned to the Legislature for approval.
THE BAKER RECORD
FACT: TENS OF THOUSANDS OF WELFARE FRAUD CASES LANGUISHED FOR YEARS ON BAKER’S WATCH
Boston Globe: “State Auditor Joseph DeNucci charged yesterday that years of mismanagement at the state Bureau of Investigations created a chronic case backlog that hobbled Massachusetts’ effort to root out welfare fraud. DeNucci said that in the spring of 1995, when he launched his audit, more than one-third of the agency’s 60,000 open cases had been languishing four years or more. More than 5,500 had been pending for more than ten years. In addition, the individual caseloads of the bureau’s 105 investigators varied widely, from a low of 43 cases to a high of 1,788 cases”. (Boston Globe, 1/7/97)
FACT: UNDER BAKER’S WATCH, STATE’S WELFARE FRAUD SQUAD IN DISSARAY
Boston Herald: “Gov. William F. Weld’s welfare-abuse crackdown was reeling yesterday as the head of the elitefraud squad quit, the unit faced a performance review and its chief investigator was sent home under a cloud. Although the administration insists the much-publicized effort to root out fraud and waste is on track, it must confront three major headaches: Officials confirmed that the Bureau of Special Investigations, which falls under the state Department of Public Safety, is the subject of an internal management review. It is focusing on whether the agency has fallen short of performance goals in prosecuting welfare fraud and other types of public assistance abuses. “There is a problem with a lack of referrals for prosecution,” said one law enforcement source. “There is a backlog of fraud cases. Cases are not being followed up on.” Glen P. Fealy, head of state Bureau of Special Investigations, abruptly and without apparent reason announced his resignation Monday. The chief welfare fraud investigator, John Comerford, has been placed on administrative leave amid charges he pressured an employee for a cut-rate deal on a home remodeling job.”(Boston Herald, 6/12/96)
FACT: BAKER’S TOP WELFARE FRAUD INVESTIGATOR WAS CAUGHT IN NEPOTISM SCHEME
Weld’s top welfare fraud investigator was caught in nepotism scheme while Baker in charge of Health and Human Services. In 1994, in an apparent attempt to work around state nepotism rules, a top Department of Industrial Accidents official and the chief investigator of Weld’s welfare fraud unit both hired each other’s sons – within a month of each other. The chairwoman of an all-volunteer DIA board was paid more than $ 100,000 in three years to serve as liaison to the board – that is, to herself. (Boston Globe, 10/24/96)
FACT: UNDER BAKER/WELD, SPECIAL PANEL TO TRACK WELFARE FRAUD IN STATE PROGRAMS FAILS TO HOLD ONE SINGLE MEETING
Boston Herald: “Despite repeated claims by Gov. William F. Weld that cleaning up welfare is his top priority, a special state board that tracks fraud in aid programs has not held even a single meeting in nearly three years. Officials confirmed yesterday the Fraudulent Claims Commission, set up by state law specifically to target public assistance program fraud, held its last meeting in October 1993. The panel failed to meet despite pleas from one top state official who said meetings were needed and members, at the least, should be getting periodic status reports on fraud combat efforts.That official wrote memos in 1994 and 1995 asking that the claims commission be put back into action. (Boston Herald, 6/13/96)
FACT: UNDER BAKER/WELD, ANTI-FRAUD UNIT DISBANDED FOLLOWING BUNGLED CRACKDOWN ON CRIMINALS COLLECTING WELFARE
Boston Globe: “Welfare fraud investigators have been accused of squandering taxpayer money on hotel stays during a roundup last summer of 559 violent fugitives who were collecting welfare. Public Safety Commissioner Winthrop Farwell, who oversees the Bureau of Special Investigations, has refused to reimburse the investigators for $ 6,000 worth of travel expenses, asserting it was unnecessary for them to accompany police who made the arrests. The six investigators were part of a newly formed warrant team at the Bureau of Special Investigations, a small state agency that investigates welfare fraud.After reviewing the team’s expenses and responsibilities in the fugitive roundup, Farwell ordered the warrant unit disbanded, and the six have since resumed their other investigative duties.” (Boston Globe, 11/29/97)
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