There are enough conflicts of interest in Methuen to make a porn star, if not a mayor or city councilor, blush.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has very specific laws (not to mention a joke of quiz that all public employees are required to take until they pass it) to prevent this kind of situation. Maybe no one would have noticed if the mayor’s son, a police captain, wasn’t one of four who were going to be a paid $450,000 a year.
Springfield has its own problems, but it has Open Checkbook. There are 12 Springfield police captains. Their base salary is $104,000. The most money one made was $188,000. The average seemed to be about $150,000. I checked Chicopee too. Their captains are pulling down $150,000 at most.Their base salary is about $100,000.
METHUEN — With no resolution in sight to police salary issues plaguing the city, Mayor James Jajuga this week put forward a placeholder budget to keep the city running through the end of July and give him more time to work out a deal with the unions.
“Allow me to do the job I was elected to do,” the mayor told councilors Wednesday. “Allow me to negotiate from a position of strength so I can protect the citizens of this community.”
But Jajuga isn’t the one in talks with the Methuen police patrolmen and superiors unions. His son is a captain in the Police Department, creating a conflict of interest that led Jajuga to delegate his authority in the matter to Paul Fahey, his chief of staff.
The mayor’s conflict of interest isn’t the only to come up in the contentious and prolonged fiscal year 2019 budget cycle. Several councilors also have family members who work in city departments. The chairwoman alone has four family members across three major departments.