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THE FINANCE COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF BOSTON 



FINAL REPORT 

OF 

INVESTIGATION INTO THE 

ADMINISTRATION, OPERATIONS AND FINANCES 

OF THE 
SCHOOL COMMITTEE OF THE CITY OF BOSTON 



February 1975 



Finance Commission of the City of Boston 
Ralph I. Fine, Chairman 
William A. Davis, Jr. 
Percy Wilson 

Frederick R. H. Witherby 
Henry B. Wynn 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

SUMMARY OF INVESTIGATION ... ..... 1 

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS . . ......... 5 

OUTLINE OF THE ORGANIZATION, DUTIES AND 

CONDUCT OF THE BOSTON. SCHOOL COMMITTEE .......... 11 

MECHANICS OF TESTIMONIALS 19 

EFFECT OF TESTIMONIALS ON INDIVIDUAL PERSONNEL 

I. Administrative Employees ............. 31 

II. Teachers and Non-Academic Employees ............... 40 

EFFECT OF TESTIMONIALS ON EDUCATIONAL, PERSONNEL 

AND ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES ........ 44 

EFFECT OF TESTIMONIALS ON COLLECTIVE BARGAINING 

UNITS AND OTHER SCHOOL EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATIONS ........ 48 

EFFECT OF TESTIMONIALS ON CONTRACTING 

PROCEDURES OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE .................. 54 

TESTIMONIALS AND VIOLATIONS OF MASSACHUSETTS 

GENERAL LAWS, CHAPTERS 55 AND 268A 59 

RECOMMENDATIONS ..... ..... 69 



APPENDIX A - LIST OF WITNESSES 

APPENDIX B - SAMPLE LETTER 

SOLICITING TESTIMONIAL CONTRIBUTIONS 

APPENDIX C - CONTRIBUTIONS TO TESTIMONIALS FROM 

EMPLOYEE UNIONS AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 

APPENDIX D - CONTRACTORS' CONTRIBUTIONS TO TWO OR MORE TESTIMONIALS 



The Finance Commission is indebted to its Special Counsel, Allan van 
Gestel , without whose help, provided on a pro bono basis, the investigation 
of School Committee testimonials could not have been conducted. In addition, 
the Finance Commission wishes to express its gratitude to those numerous 
School Committee employees who cooperated with its investigation, and who 
have maintained their dedication to the education of Boston's children 
despite the conditions described in this report. 



SUMMARY OF INVESTIGATION 
On May 24, 1973 the Finance Commission of the City of Boston 
("Finance Commission") voted to conduct an investigation into the 
operations, administration, and finances of the Boston School Committee 
("School Committee"). The investigation was designed (1) to ascertain 
the extent to which political dealings influence the cost, quality, and 
methods of administration of public education in the City of Boston; 
(2) to determine methods of improving School Committee administrative 
practices, (3) to suggest ways of stabilizing School Committee expendi- 
tures, and (4) to outline alternative structures for the provision of 
educational services in order to minimize political influence in School 
Committee operations and to maximize the quality of education at minimum 
cost. 

The Finance Commission and its staff actively pursued the investi- 
gation from May 1973 through August 1 974 . 

As part of the investigation, on June 11, 1973 the Finance Commission 
conducted the first of a series of public hearings to determine the veracity 
of numerous complaints received by its Chairman concerning the effect of 
"testimonials" on the cost and quality of education in Boston. The Finance 
Commission received sworn testimony regarding the frequency of testimonials, 
the cost of tickets, the methods used to sell tickets, the extent to which 
School Committee property and personnel were involved in the sale of tickets, 
the reasons for the purchase and sale of tickets by School Committee employees 
and others, and the attitude of these employees toward testimonials. 



- 1 - 



On June 22, 1973, four members of the School Committee brought 

suit challenging the statutory authority of the Finance Commission to 

investigate testimonials. A full hearing on the merits of the case 

took place before Judge Samuel Adams in the Suffolk County Superior 

Court. On August 10, 1973, Judge Adams entered a final decree holding 

that: 

"the Finance Commission of the City of 
Boston has the right and authority to 
publicly investigate by all appropriate 
means the effect of testimonials and 
other fund raising activities held by 
or for members of the School Committee 
of the City of Boston on the administra- 
tive, operational and financial practices 
and methods of the School Committee of 
Boston and the School Department of the 
City of Boston." 

Public hearings resumed on September 5, 1973. The Finance Commission 

voluntarily suspended its hearings on September 19, 1973 in order to 

avoid influencing the preliminary municipal election held six days later 

and subsequently because of the School Committee's unsuccessful appeal 

of Judge Adams' decision to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. 

At private hearings held on November 8 and 29, 1973, the Finance Commission 

received subpoenaed bank records for the following accounts: 

Friendship Reception Committee for Paul R. Tierney 

Reception Committee for Paul J. Ellison 

James T ennigan for Congress Committee 

Kerrigan Friendship Dinner 

John McDonough Friendship Reception Committee 

Committee to Re-elect Paul J. Ellison 



The Finance Commission conducted additional private hearings during 
November 1973, and February and March 1974. At these hearings twenty- 
one witnesses testified under oath regarding the effect of testimonials 
on the operations and financial practices of the School Committee. 

In total, the Finance Commission received sworn testimony, comprising 
over 2,600 pages, from 58 witnessess. In addition, the Finance Commission 
interviewed on an informal basis countless other persons in connection with 
its investigation of the School Committee, and, in particular, testimonials. 
Appendix A to this report contains a list of all witnesses subpoenaed to 
appear before the Finance Commission. 

Between March 1973 and May 1974 the Finance Commission publicly released 
the following reports in connection with its investigation of the School 
Committee: 

Utilization of School Swimming Pools (3/8/73) 

Transportation of Handicapped Children to and from School (3/20/73) 

Paul J. Ellison - Automobile Repairs at Brighton High School (6/1/73) 

Paul J. Ellison - Purchase of Stationery, Stamps and other Supplies 
(6/22/73) 

Resource Distribution in Elementary Schools (6/26/73) 

School Committee Contracts Awarded without Public Advertising (9/5/73) 

Legal Considerations in the Award of School Committee Contracts (9/12/73) 

School Health Services (9/2/73) 

Resource Distribution in Elementary Schools (12/4/73) 

Testimonial for Paul R. Tierney (1/30/74) 

School Committee Meetings (2/7/74) 

Testimonial for John J. McDonough (2/25/74) 



-3- 



Contributions of Businesses to Testimonials (3/28/74) 

Resource Distribution in High Schools (3/25/74) 

Testimonial for Paul J. Ellison (3/29/74) 

Receipt and Expenditure of School Funds at Boston Latin School 
(5/1/74) 

Testimonial for John J. Kerrigan (5/21/74) 

1973 Re-election Campaign of John J. Kerrigan (5/21/74) 

In addition to the reports described above, the Finance Commission 
studied various other aspects of the School Committee's administrative 
and financial practices. In particular, the Finance Commission conducted 
a thorough investigation of the duties of custodians and attendance 
officers and the costs relating to their functions. Since these have 
been studied in the past not only by the Finance Commission but also 
by the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, the Finance Commission did 
not prepare or release formal reports on them. However, the information 
so gathered shaped certain of the conclusions set forth in this report. 

The Finance Commission turned over pertinent material to various law 
enforcement agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, United States 
Attorney, and the Suffolk County District Attorney. This report will 
refrain from comment on all matters submitted to these bodies for further 
investigation. 



•4- 



SUMMARY OF FINDINGS 

The education of 90,000 school children in the City of Boston rests 
in the hands of a School Committee composed of five unpaid officials 
elected at large biennially. The School Committee controls a system 
comprising nearly 200 schools. It spends over $110,000,000 per year, an 
amount approximating one-third of the total city budget, and it employs 
more than 5,500 teachers and over 3,000 non-academic employees. Because 
school committees in Massachusetts are not legally constituted as city 
departments answerable to the Mayor or City Council, controls over their 
activities are few and the scope of their discretion is broad. 

Unfortunately, the School Committee has not set its priorities and 
used its powers with the interests of public education in mind. It has 
failed to fulfill its primary responsibilities: establishing policy 
and .dealing w>ith tiie significant issues of allocating resources and 
formulating educational objectives. Unlike other school committees in 
the Commonwealth, the Boston School Committee has not restrained its im- 
pulse to turn public office to private gain. The School Committee has 
responded to the pressing need for curriculum modernization, equality of 
services, and efficiency of operation with foot-dragging and disinterest. 
It has usurped the function of professional educators by dominating even 
routine personnel decisions. It has not conducted its business in an open, 
public manner but rather favors secret deliberations resulting in little or 
no accountability to the public. The School Committee has stressed loyalty 
rather than competence among its employees and has created an atmosphere 
which discourages creative dissent and experimentation. 



All too often members of the School Committee have not sought the 
office for the sake of contributing to the quality of education in Boston. 
Rather, they have shown themselves preoccupied by personal ambition, a 
desire to exercise control over the employment of large numbers of people, 
and by the presumption that a School Committee seat can serve as a spring- 
board to higher elective office. While the Finance Commission has no 
quarrel with the ambitions of School Committee members for higher office, 
definite grounds for criticism exist when School Committee members use 
their positions primarily to enhance their own political status, to collect 
campaign war chests, and to win political allies by their acts in office. 
Their attempts to justify such behavior by pointing to their unpaid status 
are unconscionable. 

An analysis of the way in which the School Committee conducts its 
official business confirms these conclusions. In 1972, only .189 of the 
1,341 official votes taken by the School Committee concerned educational 
policy,* and nearly one-half of these 189 votes involved routine non-policy 
matters such as the use of buildings for summer schedules, the naming of new 
schools, or the granting of permission to collect funds for charity within 
Boston public schools. The official votes demonstrate that the School 
Committee's interest focuses almost exclusively on the hiring, firing, 
promotion, demotion, and assignment of individual school employees. 



*In this report, issues of "educational policy" refer principally to non- 
personnel matters. These include allocating financial resources, building 
or closing schools, establishing district lines, awarding contracts, dealing 
with bargaining groups, setting up guidelines for hiring and promoting 
employees, and establishing special education programs. Another category 
included in issues of "educational policy" is desegregation. 



Nine hundred and ninety-four, or 74% of School Committee votes in 1972 
concerned personnel matters better left, in the opinion of the Finance 
Commission, to professional administrators. Preoccupation with individual 
personnel decisions instead of educational policy is the hallmark of a 
patronage system. 

The Finance Commission investigation reveals that while the School 
Committee has lavished time and attention on personnel decisions, it 
has neglected pressing policy questions. It has done nothing to remedy 
waste and inefficiency in the school health program, which in 1972 paid 
most of its $1,633,602 budget to doctors and nurses who do little more 
than refer students to existing health services outside the schools. 
Furthermore, it allows abuses in the receipt and expenditure of school 
funds to continue. 

The School Committee has wasted hundreds of thousands of tax dollars 
by failing to consolidate student bodies as population shifts leave schools 
under or overpopulated. It has sat idly by while serious inequities in per 
pupil expenditures and student/teacher ratios have developed. In several 
of these areas it has refused to act because to eliminate unnecessary jobs, 
close underpopulated schools or reassign pupils from overcrowded schools 
would prove politically damaging, however educationally sound. 

The School Committee has also failed to take any action to curtail the 
enormous waste of taxpayer dollars stemming from inefficient maintenance of 
school buildings and the non-productivity of attendance officers. 

And, of course, Judge Arthur Garrity has found that the School Committee 
"took many actions in their official capacities with the purpose and intent 
to segregate the Boston public schools." 



Furthermore, the School Committee has performed its functions in 
a manner designed to stifle educational debate and community concerns. 
It meets during hours when interested members of the public are least 
able to attend. Over the years it has dramatically decreased the number 
of its public meetings: in the first half of 1973 the School Committee 
spent 42% less time in meetings than it did in the comparable period 
for 1971. 

Increasingly,, the School Committee conducts its business and makes 
its decisions in secret. During the period from January 1971 through 
June 1973 the School Committee held executive sessions in 96 of its 117 
meetings, often for discussion of matters for which secrecy was neither 
legal nor appropriate. Even in public sessions, formal votes often 
merely echo decisions made in private: twelve hundred fifty-four, .or 
94%, of the thirteen hundred forty-one votes taken in 1972 meetings 
were unanimous. This clearly suggests that differences of opinion are 
ironed out behind the scenes. 

The politicization of the School Committee cripples any possibility 
of coordinating programs with other City departments. A body intent on 
maintaining maximum political power resists sharing functions with other 
agencies or working to eliminate duplication. An examination of the 
relationship between the School Committee and City Departments such as 
Parks and Recreation, Health and Hospitals, and Library, and between the 
School Committee and other educational resources in Boston, demonstrates 
that the public schools have been sealed off from valuable sources of 
outside assistance. 

-8- 



The testimonial process used by School Committee members to collect 
thousands of dollars from those whose employment they control constitutes 
the most blatant illustration of the politicization which has pervaded 
Boston public schools. The School Committee's intimate involvement in 
personnel decisions creates the perception that political support of 
School Committee members is related to advancement and favorable treat- 
ment in the school system. Hundreds of teachers feel that their positions 
depend on making contributions to friendship testimonials for School 
Committee members they have never met and whose achievements in office 
they do not admire. School Committee members themselves view employees 
whose jobs they control as a ready source of personal and political 
funds and have actually retaliated against those who oppose the testimonial 
process. Large numbers of administrators and teachers have been made to 
feel that they must make financial contributions to School Committee 
members in order to preserve their rank, enhance their chances for promotion, 
and to ensure fair treatment for themselves and for their programs. 
Teachers have voiced complaints to union officials about pressure to make 
such contributions. Highly competent administrators and teachers have 
been demoted or transferred, and at least two educational programs have 
been disrupted as part of the School Committee's efforts to compel support 
for their personal or political ambitions. Associations of teachers and 
other school personnel have felt it necessary to make identifiable and 
sizable contributions to testimonials in order to ensure the School 
Committee's good will toward their schools or professional groups. 

Politics also affects the School Committee's dealings with outside 
contractors who have regularly received unrequested testimonial tickets 
from an employee influential in the awarding of unadvertised contracts. 

-9- 



Many contractors have paid for these tickets in the belief that contributions 
are required if they are to obtain further School Committee business. 

Some of the practices of present School Committee members have been 
in clear violationand subversion of the laws of the Commonwealth, and 
others have explored the outer edges of the law. 

Even under ideal circumstances, the problems of public education 
in Boston would not yield easily to solution. However, when political 
considerations, private aspirations, and patronage preoccupy the schools' 
directing body, and when this body neglects major policy questions, 
discounts public accountability, shuts out sources of help, and hamstrings 
its own administrators, it is almost impossible for solutions to emerge. 
The Finance Commission is impressed that many highly competent, independent 
administrators and teachers have managed to carry on the proper tasks of 
education despite the pervasive discouraging atmosphere of politics and 
neglect created by the. School Committee. The Finance Commission feels 
strongly that, freed from inappropriate pressure and distractions, the 
quality of public education in Boston can be greatly improved. 

Education is a slow, experimental, complicated process in which 
the results of mismanagement and neglect surface slowly and work their 
baleful influence only over a long period of time. A public works depart- 
ment or a fire department which conducted its duties in as political and 
negligent a manner as has the School Committee would meet with public 
uproar over the physical and easily identifiable results of its dereliction. 
The officials charged with public education must be equally accountable 
to the public. In this report, the Finance Commission recommends approaches 
to the problems it has identified. It trusts that the public and elected 
officials will join in formulating solutions. 

-10- 



OUTLINE OF THE ORGANIZATION, DUTIES AND CONDUCT OF 
THE BOSTON SCHOOL COMMITTEE 



The five members of the School Committee are elected at the biennal 
municipal elections. Current School Committee members, elected in 1973, 
are John J. Kerrigan, Paul Ellison, John J. McDonough, Paul R. Tierney, 
and Kathleen Sullivan. 

The School Committee elects a Secretary, Business Manager and Chief 
School house Custodian who serve during "good behavior and efficiency." The 
Superintendent, the chief administrator, is elected by the School Committee 
for a term of three years. Five Associate Superintendents in charge of 
personnel, curriculum and staff development, educational policy, supportive 
services, and special services and a Deputy Superintendent of School 
Operations are also elected by the School Committee for three year terms. 

Under the Associate Superintendent are six Assistant Superintendents 
in charge of geographical areas selected by the School Committee. In addition, 
the School Committee elects a Chief Structural Engineer, Senior Structural 
Engineer and a staff of three structural engineers. 

The chart on the following page illustrates the organization and 
lines of authority of the School Committee. 



-11 



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tyO 







Boston's first School Committee dates from 1789. The Committee grew 
in size during the next century to 116 members. In 1875 legislation 
reduced the membership to 24. In 1877 the School Committee of Boston was 
incorporated, and in 1905 it was reduced to its present size of five members 
elected at large. 

The statutes of the Commonwealth grant school committees broad 
powers and impose few restrictions on their conduct. Massachusetts sets 
minimum requirements for the length of the academic year and provides a 
formula for school budget appropriations. Chapter 150 of the Acts of 1972 
provides that academic personnel cannot be appointed by the School Committee 
except after nomination by the Superintendent, a measure meant to ensure 
. that appointments would follow academic standards. 

An outline of certain activities of the School Committee follows: 
1 . P ersonnel Decisions - Individual 

The Superintendent at regularly scheduled meetings of the School Committee 
presents his recommendations for academic personnel changes to the School 
Committee for their approval. He formulates these recommendations in 
multi-page documents divided according to the type of action to be taken. 
~~Even the most routine personnel changes are included for deliberation by 
the School Committee, including transfers, assignment to special programs, 
promotions, demotions, leaves of absence, approval of temporary teachers, 
initial appointments, and withdrawal of appointments. A typical agenda 
indicates that personnel matters are subdivided between academic and non- 
academic personnel, with non-academic personnel recommendations originating 
from the appropriate department head, such as the business manager or 
chief school house custodian. The information presented to the School Committee 
lists individuals and the proposed changes in their status. 



-13- 



2. Personnel Decisions - Employee Groups 

The School Committee deals directly with representatives of employee 
groups such as the Boston Teachers Union and the Boston Association of 
School Administrators and Supervisors in negotiating contracts which 
establish among other things, salary schedules, procedures for grievances 
and sick leave. 

3. Contracts 

In discharging its duties to maintain school buildings and provide 
educational services, the School Committee enters into contracts with 
outside businesses and professionals. Contracts for professional services, 
generally awarded without public advertising, are approved first by the 
Board of Superintendents and then by the School Committee. Generally, 
the Business Manager recommends and approves contracts for non-professional 
services to the Chairman of the School Committee. 

4. Authorization of Curricula and Texts 

The School Committee controls the curriculum for Boston's public schools. 
It adopts curriculum guidelines written by committees of teachers for the 
various subject areas and prints a number of these guides as school documents, 
The Committee also approves special educational programs such as tutoring 
and vocational training. The School Committee approves the textbooks used 
in all schools. 

5. School Committee Budget 

Two budgets are submitted by the School Committee to the Mayor, one 
for general school purposes prepared by the Business Manager, and one for 
alterations and repairs, prepared by the Department of Planning and 
Engineering. 



•14- 



6. Logistical and Geographical Policies 

Until the Federal Court order on desegregation, the School Committee 
had total responsibility for establishing district lines, determining feeder 
schools and setting up special programs and magnet schools. The School 
Committee also determined admission standards for the Latin and Technical 
Schools and set tuition for non-residents. All these decisions determined 
where the children of Boston go to school. 

One example of abuse by the School Committee in this area involved 
the new English High School. After construction of a new building for 
the predominently black English High School, the School Committee changed 
its mind and voted to give the building to the predominently white Girls 
Latin School. A subsequent court order directed the School Committee to 
use the building for English High School. 
Priorities of the School Committee 

An analysis of votes taken by the School Committee in 1972 reveals 
that the School Committee spends most of its time on individual personnel 
decisions, and only a small portion of its time on educational policy 
matters. 

Severty-four percent (994) of the 1341 votes recorded in 1972 
meetings concerned the details of personnel placement such as hiring 
(29% of the personnel votes), leaves of absence (19%), transfers (7%) 
and other personnel decisions (45%). 

More of the Committee's votes concerned leaves of absence than 
issues of educational policy, since these issues accounted for only 
14% (189) of the total votes. 

Of the votes on educational policy, nearly half dealt with rather 
routine administrative matters which were not, in fact, policy decisions, 

-15- 



but rather votes approving administrative decisions made by others. This 
category included votes on closing schools for half days or for the summer, 
renaming schools, authorizing fund-raising drives or the use of school 
buildings for evening, summer and other classes, amending the student 
disciplinary code, and approving the selection process for the Latin and 
Technical High Schools. 

Fourteen percent of the 189 educational policy votes dealt with union 
matters, i.e., approving collective bargaining agreements and handling 
grievances. Another fifteen percent related to racial imbalance. This 
classification included votes on determining school districts. 

Nine percent of the 189 educational policy votes involved approval of 
grant applications for federal funds and another seven percent approval of 
formal budgetary matters. The final twelve percent of the policy votes 
concerned choice of textbooks, curricula and course guidelines, all of 
which matters the Finance Commission believes should be left in the hands of 
professional administrators. 



•16- 



Secrecy and Avoidance of Public Accountability by the School Committee 

Studies by the Finance Commission reveal that the time spent by 
the School Committee in meetings declined at an accelerated rate from 
1971 to the first half of 1973. During the first six months of 1973 the 
School Committee spent 42% less time in meetings than during the comparable 
period of 1971. There were 53 meetings in 1971 compared with 41 meetings 
in 1972. During the first six months of 1973, the School Committee held 
22 meetings. 

Scheduled meeting times vary and lack consistency as to day or hour. 
Meetings are most often held during working hours, making attendance by the 
public difficult. Notice of the date and time of these meetings gets very 
little publicity; generally nothing more than a bulletin posted on the 
ground floor of the administrative building at 15 Beacon Street. 

To an increasing extent, secrecy has marked the deliberations of 
the School Committee. There is evidence that most decisions are not made 
in public meetings at all. In 1972, 1254 or an astounding 94% of the 1341 
recorded votes were unanimous, suggesting resolution of issues prior to the 
meeting. The striking unanimity of the School Committee creates the impression 
that public meetings are a mere formality and that at these meetings 
members do not exercise independent judgment. 

While time spent in meetings has decreased, the frequency and duration 
of executive sessions from which the public is excluded have increased. 
From January 1971 through June 1973 the School Committee held executive 
sessions in 96 of its 117 meetings. In addition to conducting executive 
sessions in 82% of its meetings, the School Committee spent an average of 
41% of its total meeting time in executive session. According to 

-17- 



Chapter 39, Section 23A of the Massachusetts General Laws executive 

sessions may be held 

"only for the purpose of discussing, deliberating, 
or voting on those matters which by general or 
specific statute, or federal grant-in-aid require- 
ments cannot be made public and those matters which 
if made public might adversely affect the public 
security, the financial interest of the district, 
city, or town or local housing authority, or the 
reputation of any person..." 

By holding executive sessions when it dealt with such issues as 
making an Assistant Director an Associate Director of Safety or trans- 
ferring a clerk from one school to another, the School Committee has 
clearly failed to follow the provisions of this statute. 



•18- 



Findings of Finance Commission 

MECHANICS OF TESTIMONIALS 

(1) THE IDEA THAT SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS CAN EXPECT SUBSTANTIAL 
DONATIONS BY VIRTUE OF THEIR OFFICE HAS BECOME SO ENTRENCHED THAT 
THE SIGNIFICANT LEGAL AND ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF SUCH CONDUCT HAVE 
BEEN IGNORED BY THE DONORS AND THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS THEM- 
SELVES. 

(2) while the appellation "testimonials" or "friendship reception" 
might suggest an unsolicited gathering to honor an individual, 
fundraisers held for school committee members are organized by the 
members themselves and perhaps one assistant. furthermore, few of 
the individuals who purchase tickets personally know the school 
committee members. 

(3) the suggestion that testimonials are held to honor an unpaid 
official and to express gratitude for his dedicated public service 
is a fiction. the sole purpose of testimonials is to raise money 
for school committee members. committee members feel entitled to 
spend the funds in any way they determine. 

(4) prior to june 1973, committee members held testimonials at 
least biennially and often annually, scheduling them far enough 
in advance of their re-election campaigns to avoid the appearance 
of raising funds for political purposes and, thus, the reporting 
requirements of chapter 55 of the massachusetts general laws. 

(5) school committee members are deliberately vague about the 
purposes for which money is raised, be they political or personal. 

(6) between may 1972 and february 1973, each of four school 
committee members held one testimonial. from these four functions, 
paul j. ellison, john j. kerrigan, john j. mcdonough and paul r. 
tierney raised a minimum total of $88,773.16 or an average of $22,193.29. 
of that total, a minimum of $26,430.22 and a maximum of $44,430.22 

was spent for personal expenses and a minimum of $22,286.75 and a 
maximum of $25,686.75 was spent for campaign expenses. 

(7) most school employees who contribute to school committee 
members do so with the expectation that their contribution will be 
used for campaign expenses. 

(8) by encouraging the persistence of the myth that the money 
raised is applied to campaign expenses, school committee members 
fraudulently entice contributions from persons who believe they are 
giving to a Political campaign. 

(9) most contributors would refuse to contribute to testimonials 

if they knew that the proceeds were to be used for personal purposes 
by the school committee members. 

-19- 



(10) THE SUGGESTION THAT CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THEIR OWN EMPLOYEES 
FORMS A SUITABLE SOURCE OF COMPENSATION FOR UNPAID SCHOOL COMMITTEE 
MEMBERS IS UNETHICAL. 

(11) GENERALLY, TICKETS ARE MAILED DIRECTLY TO POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTORS, 
OR AN INVITATION TO PURCHASE TICKETS IS SENT WITH A RETURN ENVELOPE. 

(12) IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, ACTIVITIES RELATING TO THE DISTRIBUTION 
AND SALE OF TICKETS TAKE PLACE AT THE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, 

15 BEACON STREET. TICKETS FOR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AT TIMES ARE 
PERSONALLY DELIVERED TO THEM AT 15 BEACON STREET. 

(13) IT HAS BECOME A MATTER OF TACIT UNDERSTANDING THAT THE SALE 
AND DISTRIBUTION OF TESTIMONIAL TICKETS ARE EXPECTED OF CERTAIN IN- 
DIVIDUALS IN ADDITION TO THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES OR BECAUSE OF THEIR 

POSITIONS. 

(14) TICKETS ARE MAILED OR DELIVERED TO SUPERINTENDENT, SUPERVISORS,' 
DEPARTMENT HEADS, HEADMASTERS AND OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL FOR 
THEIR INDIVIDUAL PURCHASE OR DISTRIBUTION. NON-ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL, 
ON THE OTHER HAND, USUALLY PURCHASE THEIR TICKETS INDIRECTLY, BY MEANS 

OF A RAFFLE, OR THROUGH THEIR UNION, ASSOCIATION, SCHOOL OR DEPARTMENT. 

(15) RELIANCE UPON ORGANIZATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS OF SCHOOL DEPARTMENT 
EMPLOYEES TO PURCHASE BLOCKS OF TICKETS HAS BECOME AN INCREASINGLY 

COMMON PHENOMENON. 

(16) ESSENTIALLY SCHOOL EMPLOYEES SELL ALL TESTIMONIAL TICKETS TO 
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES, THEIR ORGANIZATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS, AND 
TO CONTRACTORS DOING BUSINESS WITH THE SCHOOL DEPARTMENT. 

(17) ALTHOUGH TICKETS ARE SOLD FOR $25, DONATIONS FROM INDIVIDUAL 
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES RANGE FROM $10 to $625. DONATIONS 
FROM EMPLOYEE GROUPS RANGE FROM $50 TO $3,625. DONATIONS FROM 
BUSINESSES AND BUSINESS-RELATED INDIVIDUALS RANGE FROM $25 to $250. 

(18) ALL TICKETS ARE NUMBERED AND LISTS OF TICKET NUMBERS ARE KEPT. 
MOST TICKETS ARE PURCHASED WITH CHECKS WHICH OFTEN IDENTIFY THE 
DONOR'S DEPARTMENT AND/OR TICKET NUMBER IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT CREDIT 
IS GIVEN THE DONOR BY THE RECIPIENT. 



-20- 



Each of the four candidates for re-election to the School Committee in 
November 1973 had at least one testimonial between their assumption of office 
in January 1972 and the election. Paul J. Ellison held a testimonial in 
May 1972 at the New England Aquarium after less than five months on the 
School Committee. John J. McDonough held one in June 1972 and a second one 
less than a year later in May 1973 both at the Aquarium. In October 1972, 
John J. Kerrigan also had his testimonial at the Aquarium while Paul R. Tierney 
chose the Parker House for his in February 1973. 

The reasons for having a testimonial vary, according to the person. A 
letter from Theodore Bakas, Chairman of the John McDonough Friendship Reception 
Committee, to potential contributors spoke of honoring John, "an unpaid member 
of the Boston School Committee." James Crecco, a close associate of Paul J. 
Ellison, told of supporters and teachers wanting to get together to "celebrate 
the fact that... a teacher... was now in a policy making position as a 
committeeman." Ellison testified that the purpose was to pay off campaign 
debts and to recover personal expenses. John O'Leary, the Administrative 
Assistant to Paul R. Tierney, testified that Tierney gave his Friendship 
Reception to raise funds. Mr. O'Leary also testified that the "times" as 
these testimonials are colloquially called give teachers' "a chance to meet 
other teachers (and that they give a chance for some of the single people to 
meet each other)." In fact, he said, "a lot of teachers have been calling me 
recently asking me when I'm going to run another testimonial." 

The testimonial committee usually has one or two members, often 
including the School Committee member himself. Because testimonials never 
took place after the member announced his candidacy, School Committee members 
avoided the reporting requirements of Chapter 55 of the Massachusetts General 



-21 



Laws. This loophole has been closed by the recent amendments to Chapter 55 
which are discussed in detail later in this report. 

Bank records subpoenaed by the Finance Commission reveal the volume and 
disposition of funds raised at certain testimonials. These facts, summarized 
below, have been published in greater detail in preliminary reports issued 
by the Finance Commission: 



Testimonial 
Held for 



Testimonial 
Receipts 



Amount 
Testimonial Spent on 
Expenses Campaign 



Amount turned 
Over to Bene- 
ficiary or 
Spent for Per- 
sonal Purposes 



Other 
Payments 



Paul J. Ellison $24,053.16 
5/11/72 



John J. Kerrigan $22,790.00 
10/18/72 

Paul R. Tierney $29,010.00 
2/9/73 

John J. McDonough $12,970.00 
5/17/73 



$3,509.25 



$11,561.87 
(minimum) 

$14,561.87 
(maximum) 



$5,450.00 
(minimum) 

$8,450.00 
(maximum) 



$4,672.00 $ 170.50 $16,075.00* 



$6,709.18 $ 



$22,155.22 



$1,775.12 $10,954.38 $ 



$1,872.50 



$ 145.60 



$ 240.50 



Neither Paul R. Tierney nor John J. McDonough made cash deposits into 
their testimonial accounts. The Kerrigan Friendship Dinner account had cash 
deposits of $2,025. 



* A $15,000 check to John J. Kerrigan was endorsed by him and deposited 
in South Boston Savings Bank. The bank book was used as collateral 
by Mr. Kerrigan for a series of loans totalling $10,000 from South 
Boston Savings Bank. The loans were repaid by Mr. Kerrigan from 
unidentified funds after disclosure of the loans in the Boston press. 



■22- 



The receipts listed for Messrs. Tierney and McDonough are undoubtedly 

understated because of undeposited cash receipts. The Finance Commission 

knows that certain cash was not deposited because the following individuals 

testified that they regularly bought tickets to testimonials held for 

School Committee members, yet their names did not appear on the checks 

deposited into the testimonial accounts: 

Elmo P. Boari 
Leo J. Burke 
Herbert C. Hambleton 
William J . Leary 
Robert V. McCabe 
George E. Murphy 

Moreover, John O'Leary, Mr. Tierney's Administrative Assistant, testi- 
fied that Mr. Tierney did indeed receive cash donations which he used for 
personal and not political purposes. 

A review of the bank records subpoenaed by the Finance Commission also 

reveals that the following checks passed between School Committee members: 

5/5/72 Paul Ellison to Paul Tierney $1,256 

5/9/72 Paul Ellison to O'Leary and Tierney, 900 

Attorneys 

5/16/72 Paul Ellison to James Hennigan 500 

6/2/72 Paul Ellison to John Kerrigan 100 

10/25/72 John Kerrigan to Paul Tierney. 3,000 

10/26/72 Paul Tierney to John Kerrigan 3,000 

10/26/72 John Kerrigan to Paul Ellison 1,000 

These finanical transactions raise serious questions concerning the 
independence of School Committee members in performing their official 
duties. 

Virtually all the witnesses believed that funds raised at testimonials 
would be used for political expenses. James A. Kelley, Safety Officer, 
and Kenneth M. Calvagne, President of C & C Fence, Inc., both testified 
that they would not have bought tickets if they thought the proceeds would 



-23- 



be used for personal expenses. Theodore S. Bakas testified that he would 
not have allowed the organization of John McDonough's testimonial to use 
his name if he had thought the money would be used for anything besides 
campaign costs. Thomas F. Cavanaugh indicated that it would "bother" him 
if testimonial receipts were used for personal purposes, and John A. 
Arcadipane testified that he probably would not have purchased tickets if 
he thought the proceeds would be used for personal expenses. 

Despite this evidence that the purpose of the proceeds decisively 
interests the contributors, the cover letters and testimonial tickets do 
not assure purchasers that contributions will be used for political expenses. 
Indeed, they obscure the purpose of the testimonial and the proposed use 
of contributions. (See sample cover letter, Appendix B). 

Furthermore, the purchasers of testimonial tickets do not usually 
know that School Committee members receive compensation for expenses of 
office, nor do they know that the members have other sources of income. 
Instead, the candidates and their testimonial committees continually 
characterize School Committee members as unpaid public officials who 
must forego all other employment and pay for their own expenses of office. 

In fact, Business Manager Leo Burke testified that between $7,000 
and $15,000 per year goes to pay for dinners and taxtcabs for School 
Committee members on the days of meetings and other school functions, 
such as graduations. The appropriation also covers the expenses of 
stationery and postage used by members. 

In addition, each mBmber of the School Committee receives approximately 
$250 per week for administrative and secretarial assistance. 

One or two people manage the organization and timing of testimonials, 



-24- 



and certain rules govern the staging of these events. Paul Ellison, testifying 
before the Finance Commission, engaged in the following dialogue with 
Mr. van Gestel , the Commission's Special Counsel: 
"Q" Now you indicated that there was a rumor that one 

of the other members might be having a testimonial 
in the spring of '72? 
A It seems to me right after I came aboard the School 

Committee, there was some talk, I don't remember 
who or what but there is a reason why I didn't have 
right at that time and as I recollect it was because 
somebody else was going to have one. 
Q Has it been your experience while you have been on the 

School Committee that the various School Committeemen 
discussed the schedule of their testimonials so that 
they wouldn't conflict? 
A Yes. 

Q How frequently do these discussions occur? 

A Not often, we didn't sit down and discuss that but 

if somebody is in the case of mine having it in May 
I remembered coming up, I don't know which member, 
I don't believe actually as it turned out, I don't 
know if anyone had one at that time but that was the 
reason why I didn't have one in February or March. 
There is no question there was the need to have one 
and to pay these debts." 
James Crecco, who helped Mr. Ellison organize his testimonial spoke 
of the "custom" and the "system" of arranging a testimonial: 

-25- 



Crecco "There isn't any . . . formal organization that 
informs me of anything. It is by word of mouth. 
This group (organization or association of School 
Department employees) does this, does that etc. 
and it really is a custom that they come down and 
do what they do." 

and again: 

"The system, the way it works was to write a letter 
stating whether we stated, unpaid committeemen 
work, tried to defray expenses, we would mail these 
out to many people, hundreds of people, we put an 
order card in there if they wanted one ticket or 
ten tickets, whatever, and we would put a return 
envelope in there also showing where they would 
mail their check or any monies, and the system was 
to get these out and let them know. Now, they would 
get the tickets and get them back to us, indeed there 
are blocks of tickets that are sold in the school 
department, as a novice first found out that certain 
groups buy blocks, you mentioned one before, the 
headmasters association, there are other groups that 
just come in and buy blocks of tickets and that is 
the sum and substance of it." 
For Mr. McDonough's reception, Theodore Bakas allowed his name to be 

used on a letter that was sent out inviting the purchase of tickets by a 

return form and envelope. Mr. Bakas was the chairman of the "committee" 

-26- 



in name only and as an accommodation to a friend who wanted "someone 
removed from the political arena . . . not involved in politics (who) had 
nothing to do with the School Committee ..." Mr. Bakas did not know 
positively, but he assumed that John McDonough himself actually, ran the 
testimonial. Paul J. Ellison organized his testimonial with the help of 
his associate, James Crecco, by using the School Committee directory of 
employees to put together a list of "friends" invited. On at least one 
occasion, Mr. Crecco called an administrator into his office and gave him 
tickets for distribution. John O'Leary, Mr. Tierney's administrative 
assistant, acknowledged that he had organized Mr. Tierney's "time" himself. 
At an open bar meeting of 25 to 50 people at the Parker House, Mr. O'Leary 
individually spoke to each person present and asked them to help sell 
tickets for Mr. Tierney's reception. 

In addition to these more formal methods of soliciting contributions, 
another predetermined pattern for distributing tickets exists. Mr. Crecco 
testified that once the "rumor" is out that a testimonial is to be held, 
"it is better than UPI, within 60 minutes . . . many people dropped in and 
picked up their tickets." Robert B. McCabe, t'he administrative assistant 
to the Deputy Superintendent, testified, that as soon as he discovered that 
a testimonial was planned, he would go to the Committee member's office and 
pick up 60 to 80 tickets to mail to legislators and upper-level administrators. 
For instance, Elmo P. Boari, a structural engineer with the Department of 
Planning and Engineering, testified that when he found out about a testimonial, 
he went to the person in charge and picked up twenty to thirty tickets which 
he then mailed, to contractors with whom he dealt in his official capacity. 

In virtually all instances, the recipients do not request the letters 

-27- 



of solicitation and the delivery of testimonial tickets. Several administrators 
testified that they received the tickets at their offices at 15 Beacon Street. 
Besides direct sales to individuals, many teachers and other employees con- 
tribute $5 or $10 toward the purchase of a ticket, and whatever tickets are 
purchased by such pooling are then raffled off to contributors. Another 
indirect method of sale consists of the purchase of blocks of tickets by 
organizations and associations representing employees. In the testimonials 
studied in detail by the Finance Commission, twelve such groups purchased 
from two to one hundred forty-five tickets. Often, people denied this practice. 
John O'Leary, for example, testified under oath that blocks of tickets had not 
been sold to Mr. Tierney's testimonial. Subsequent investigation by the 
Finance Commission revealed, however, that in addition to several other 
group contributions, a $3,000 contribution from the 120 member Boston 
Association of School Administrators and Supervisors ("BASAS") was made 
to Mr. Tierney. Moreover, Mr. O'Leary himself returned a check for 
$3,000 to the treasurer of BASAS. He insisted that the contribution be 
made in sixty $50 money orders to hide the magnitude of the contribution 
and to create the impression that sixty persons had individually purchased 
tickets. Later, Mr. O'Leary acknowledged that he personally signed the 
names of 60 different persons (most fictitious) to the money orders- 

Evidence received by the Finance Commission demonstrates that the 
holders of testimonials keep records of those who purchase and those who 
do not purchase tickets. John O'Leary, Mr. Tierney's administrative 
assistant, testified that when he receives cash donations he notes down 
the identity of the donor. People have been questioned personally about 



■28- 



their failure to purchase tickets; lists have been kept at schools recording 

those who purchased tickets (supposedly so that "thank you"notes could be 

sent, although the Finance Commission found no person who actually received 

such a note); ticket numbers are recorded; and as already stated many checks 

identify the donor's school or department. The following list indicates 

a sample of the notations found on checks given to Mr. Tierney: 

"Data Processing" 

"Dept. Music Ed." 

"Boston MDTA Skill Center - East Boston" 

"Boston Guidance" 

"Guidance Counselor - Roslindale High" 

"EB-MDT Skill Center" 

"Dept. Planning & Engineering" 

"Title I Programs" 

"DE - Roslindale High" 

"Boys Trade" 

"South Boston High" 

"Boston Technical High School" 

"Music Dept." 

"Boston High School" 

"Higginson School " 

"Copley Sq. High" 

"English High" 

"Trade High" 

"Jamaica Plain High" 

"DE Dept. Hyde Park" 

Evidently many contributors want their contribution to be recorded, 
and these additional notations are means of ensuring that credit is 
properly given. 

Finally, an analysis of the checks written for tickets to testi- 
monials for Messrs. Kerrigan, McDonough and Tierney reveals that a 
core of permanent employees regularly attend testimonials. Approximately 
sixty-eight people attended all three of the testimonials, and a little 
less than one-half of the permanent employees who contributed to each 
"time" also contributed to at least one other. The chart below illustrates 
the breakdown of the contributors to the three testimonials for which 
the Finance Commission was able to identify most of the donors. 

-29- 



Kerrigan 


390 


76 


19 


Tierney 


421 


64 


23 


McDonough 


186 


70 


2 



Permanent Temporary Unions 

Committee School Dept. School Dept. Organiz. 

Member Employees Employees Assoc. Business Other Totals 

# % # % # % # % # % # % 

4 7 1 65 13 31 6 512 100 

3 10 2 94 14 114 17 662 100 

1 5 2 50 19 22 8 265 100 



Totals 997 69 44 3 22 2 209 14 167 12 1439 100 

The total number of contributors affiliated with the School Committee 
(permanent and temporary employees and employee organizations) to the three 
testimonials listed above amounted to 1063: 74% of the total number of 
contributors identified by the Finance Commission. 



-30- 



Findings of Finance Commission 

EFFECT OF TESTIMONIALS ON INDIVIDUAL PERSONNEL 

I. Administrative Employees 

(1) ADMINISTRATORS OF THE BOSTON SCHOOL COMMITTEE GENERALLY BELIEVE 
THAT A CONNECTION EXISTS BETWEEN THE PURCHASE OF TESTIMONIAL 
TICKETS AND THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE'S HIRING AND PROMOTION 
PRACTICES. 

(2) MANY TOP LEVEL ADMINISTRATORS, EVEN THOSE WHO PERSONALLY 
OBJECT TO THE SOLICITATION OF TESTIMONIAL CONTRIBUTIONS FROM 
EMPLOYEES, FEEL THEY MUST PAY FOR TICKETS THEY RECEIVE IN THE 
MAIL IN ORDER TO RETAIN THEIR POSITIONS OR BECAUSE IT IS "THE 
NAME OF THE GAME", OR TO ENSURE "FAIR TREATMENT". 

(3) ADMINISTRATORS WHO DECLINE TO BUY OR SELL TICKETS OFTEN DO SO 
ON THE GROUNDS THAT THEIR SALE REPRESENTS AN APPLICATION OF 
PRESSURE OR THAT SUCH SALE IS INAPPROPRIATE. 

(4) IN MAILING UNREQUESTED TESTIMONIAL TICKETS TO UPPER LEVEL 
ADMINISTRATORS, TESTIMONIAL COMMITTEES EMPLOY A QUOTA SYSTEM 
BY WHICH THE NUMBER OF TICKETS SENT OUT VARIES ACCORDING TO 
THE ADMINISTRATOR'S .RANK. 

(5) THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF TESTIMONIAL TICKETS HAS BEEN A POINT 
OF CONTROVERSY AND DIVISIVENESS AMONG SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS. 

(6) THE DECISION BY SUPERINTENDENT WILLIAM LEARY NOT TO RENOMINATE 
INCUMBENT DAVID ROSENGARD AS AN ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT RESULTED 
AT LEAST IN PART FROM MR. ROSENGARD' S OUTSPOKEN OPPOSITION TO 
THE PRACTICE OF SOLICITING TESTIMONIAL CONTRIBUTIONS FROM 
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES. 

(7) THE DECISION NOT TO ELEVATE JOHN COAKLEY TO THE POSITION OF 
PRINCIPAL OF A DAY SCHOOL AND TO REMOVE HIM AFTER A YEAR FROM 
HIS POSITION AS PRINCIPAL OF AN EVENING SCHOOL EVEN THOUGH HE 
WAS FIRST ON THE RATING LIST FOR THE FORMER POSITION AND HAD 
RECEIVED NO ADVERSE COMMENT ON HIS PERFORMANCE IN THE LATTER 
POSITION, RESULTED AT LEAST IN PART FROM HIS REFUSAL TO PURCHASE 
TESTIMONIAL TICKETS WHEN APPROACHED DIRECTLY BY REPRESENTATIVES 
OF SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS. 



■31- 



The solicitation of testimonial contributions from school employees 
has created an atmosphere of politicization and pressure in the City's 
school system. The Finance Commission has found widespread evidence 
that personnel policies, staff morale, educational planning and intra- 
professional relationships have been intruded upon and adversely affected 
by the testimonial process. 

Within the area of personnel policies, top level administrators in 
the school system believe that decisions to promote or retain individual 
administrators are affected to a significant degree by their participation 
in and attitude toward testimonials. Several witnesses testified that 
administrators are expected to contribute, without regard to the esteem 
in which they hold any individual School Committee member. Herbert 
Hambleton, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, noted that political 
expediency was one reason for purchasing tickets to testimonials. He 
also stated that some administrators suffered because of their refusal 
to participate. William Harrison, an Area Superintendent, called testimonials 
''the name of the game" and testified that as he rose in rank in the school 
system, he purchased more testimonial tickets. Paul Kennedy, Associate 
Superintendent in Charge of Personnel, testified that he thought testimonials 
should be banned but that he bought all tickets mailed to him because it 
was the customary thing to do. Rollins Griffith, an Assistant Superintendent, 
bought four tickets to each testimonial, totalling $500 per year, because 
it was "the customary thing to do." Wilfred O'Leary, the Headmaster of 
Boston Latin School and an officer of Boston Association of School Admin- 
istrators and Supervisors ("BASAS"), said BASAS made large contributions 
to testimonials in order to insure the "good will" of the School Committee. 



-32- 



Evidence that top level administrators are expected to purchase 
testimonial tickets exists in the procedure by which they receive tickets. 
Robert B. McCabe, Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Superintendent, 
uniformly mails out tickets to administrators above a certain echelon. 
A quota system exists in the mailing out of these unrequested tickets: 
Mr. Harrison and Mr. John Kelley, Associate Superintendent, testified 
that after they received promotions to the superintendent level, they 
began to receive and pay for four tickets to testimonials rather that 
two. An analysis of contributions to the testimonials of School Committee 
members Kerrigan, McDonough and Tierney indicates that teachers and lower 
level personnel purchase one ticket or contribute less than $25 for part 
of a ticket. Upper level administrators generally purchase one or two 
tickets; and top level administrators at the superintendent level purchase 
four tickets. The level of participation expected at a given rank is 
clearly suggested by the number of tickets mailed to the recipient. The 
Finance Commission believes that this quota system and its link to the 
administrative hierarchy constitutes a form of pressure to respond to a 
promotion with a higher level of contributions. None of the top personnel 
who testified stated as their reason for purchasing tickets or attending 
"times" that they liked, admired or held in esteem particular School Committee 
members. 

Within the ranks of administrators are a number of employees who have 
refused to participate in the testimonial process either by selling or 
buying tickets. The reasons they give for their refusal to take part in 
this "customary" activity include the conviction that it is inappropriate 

-33- 



for School Committee members to ask employees for money, a general distaste 
for the activity, or a belief that the testimonial process constitutes a 
form of pressure or coercion. Mr. Kennedy said he believed all political 
testimonials should be banned because "political fund-raising and campaigning 
should be put on a different level." Leo Burke, School Department Business 
Manager, testified that while he purchases four tickets to most testimonials, 
he has never been asked to sell tickets because "they know better and no 
one has ever offered them to sell, either." He explained that he found 
the idea that the head of a department would sell tickets to his employees 
"distasteful". Elmo Boari , a Planning and Engineering Department employee 
who mails out tickets to contractors doing business with the School Committee, 
does so in secret because he is aware that the head of his department would 
not approve of the action. Joseph Carey, Director of the Educational 
Planning Center, testified that he has not purchased tickets to testimonials 
because he believes they open an avenue for abuse by public officials 
with enormous power. 

In 1970 the then Principals and Headmasters Association (the predecessor 
to BASAS) voted to assess each of its members $150 for contributions by 
the organization to three testimonials for School Committee members. At 
that time, the Association was negotiating salary increases for its members 
with the School Committee. David Rosengard, then Secretary Treasurer, 
spoke out against the assessment and decried the group's support of 
testimonials. Letters received by Mr. Rosengard from other members expressed 
some of the concern of administrators to the pressure and political 
overtones of testimonials: 

-34- 



"Enclosed is my check. I admire your courage for saying what we 
all felt." 

"With reluctant concessions to our bright new world." 

"Am enclosing check in the amount of $50 for annual dues in the 
Joint Association. The group can do anything they want with it. My 
conscience stops me there." 

"However I try to rationalize the action taken by the membership, 
I cannot avoid the conclusion that by their vote our members have authorized 
the executive board to seek a satisfactory salary schedule by the bribery 
of public officials. The fact that other groups have allegedly acted 
in the past in similar fashion does not justify our adoption of the 
principle that the end justifies the means. I am not happy to disagree 
on this issue with the obviously overwhelming majority of our associates, 
I should be much less happy if I agreed." 

The Finance Commission has concluded that many administrators view 
testimonial solicitations as a form of coercion and that they participate 
out of fear. To oppose the practi ce would endanger their careers or their 
groups' interests, and they know that. . 

As indicated by Mr. Rosengard in his testimony: 

"A person would have to be extremely naive if he were to say that 
there does not exist and does probably not exist today a very definite 
pressure on members of the School Department to puchase tickets." 

and again: 

"I have attended testimonial dinners myself, I attended one a couple 
of weeks ago given for the retiring deputy superintendent of schools. 
I attended one given in honor of retiring superintendent of schools 

-35- 



William Ohrenberger. I attended those testimonial dinners because they 
were testimonial dinners. They were dinners run in testimony of the 
work performed by the men who they were run for. This to me is not the 
same as a testimonial dinner which is run for a member of the School 
Committee who has just become a School Committeeman and hasn't actually 
done anything for the School Department or for the citizens of the City 
of Boston or for the children of the City of Boston but for whom a 
testimonial dinner is run. I believe that the problem of raising funds 
for candidates is a ^ery complex and difficult one and I can understand 
the predicament of a man who is running for the School Committee which 
is an unpaid job or even for the mayoralty or governorship which is a 
paid job, I know that the salary they earn cannot possibly cover the 
expenses of running for the office. Nevertheless, nobody twists the 
arms of these people to run for these offices and if they wish to run 
for an office and solicit funds to help them do so in a proper way I 
suppose there is no other alternative but when a School Committeeman 
has money to run two testimonial dinners a year at fifty dollars a plate 
and send me tickets, two tickets for each testimonial dinner and I am 
sitting in my office and wondering is anyone keeping score, do I have 
to buy all of these tickets, would it be judicial for me to buy them, 
am I jeopardizing my career by not buying them, it isn't a matter of 
people twisting my arm and saying like you want to hold this job, by 
implications there and I am not naive and neither are the people who are 
claiming that you have to have direct concrete evidence, the threat is 
hanging over your head and when a man runs two fifty dollar testimonial 
dinners a year and in one case as I was given to understand not for any 
other reason except for the reason that he was celebrating the first 

-36- 



anniversary of his marriage or birthday, it was something equally inane, 
I see no reason why I should have to buy two fifty dollar tickets for 
such an affair. 

If you want to send me a letter and say a testimonial dinner is being 
run for someone because he is running for an office, he does have enormous 
expenses and his friends want to help him, please participate, fine but 
don't send somebody down to my office with two tickets and make me feel 
that I have to buy those tickets because if I don't maybe I won't be the 
assistant superintendent come September 1, 1972 . . . and I know what I 
hear and I know how I feel and I know my feeling is shared with so many 
other people of whom I have identified just a few and I am not altogether 
wrong in my judgment so I say if they have to raise money for campaigns 
let's see if we can find some better way of doing it but don't put the 
entire School Department in a box where people are afraid to stand up 
and be counted and they feel they have got to buy tickets and this is 
what is happening. " 

The fears of administrators are borne out by the fact that at least 
two opponents of the testimonial process have been forced out of the school 
system or denied promotions for which they were eligible. David E. Rosengard 
is a case in point. After nis promotion to the balance of a term as an 
Assistant Superintendent by the then Superintendent William Ohrenberger, 
he continued to refuse to purchase the four tickets mailed to him in 
advance of each testimonial. Several colleagues warned him that his 
refusal was unwise. Before being rejected for another term as Super- 
intendent, Mr. Ohrenberger advised Mr. Rosengard that he intended to 

-37- 



nominate Mr. Rosengard for another term as Assistant Superintendent. 
But he cautioned Mr. Rosengard that several School Committee members 
might oppose him. Everyone recognized that Mr. Rosengard's performance 
of his official duties had been outstanding. Yet, at the same time, 
School Committee member Ellison told Mr. Rosengard that the School 
Committee would not vote for him unless the Superintendent submitted 
his name. When Dr. William Leary became Superintendent, he informed 
Mr. Rosengard that only John McDonough supported his nomination and 
that consequently Dr. Leary would not nominate Rosengard for the position, 
As a result, rather than accept a demotion, Mr. Rosengard retired in 
September 1972. Dr. Leary testified to the Finance Commission that 
he had not nominated Mr. Rosengard because he wanted to appoint new 
administrators of his own choosing. Based on the overwhelming evidence, 
the Finance Commission does not believe that desire to be the principal 
reason for Dr. Leary 's actions. 

In 1972 the General Court enacted legislation attempting to foster 
the independence of the Superintendent of Schools in making decisions 
affecting personnel. Chapter 150 requires nomination by the Superin- 
tendent as a prerequisite to any School Committee academic appointment. 
By refusing to nominate an administrator whom he knew the School 
Committee disliked partially at least because of his opposition to 
testimonials, Dr. Leary relinquished the independent role accorded to 
him by the General Court and subverted the purpose of that legislation. 
This sign of the Superintendent's willingness to limit his nominations 
to those of whom the School Committee approves, indicates that the 
Superintendent does not guard against the politicization of school 



-38- 



personnel policies. Mr. Ohrenberger, who was rejected for a second term 

as Superintendent by the School Committee, had refused to poll the 

Committee before making nominations. An interview with education writers 

which appeared in the May 4, 1972 Boston Herald Traveler, noted: 

"Questioned about school board complaints 
that he never gave it advance notice of 
pending appointments, including major ones, 
the superintendent said: 'That was to pro- 
tect the nominees and keep^appointments on 
the highest level . ' " 

Formal rating systems or customary school personnel practices are 
not immune from politically-inspired interference and alteration. John 
Coakley of the Educational Planning Center was first on a list of 
employees eligible to fill the next opening as a principal at a day 
school. Although Mr. Coakley had never received any adverse comment 
regarding his administrative abilities, he had consistently refused to 
buy or sell testimonial tickets. Normally, an administrator first on 
a rating list for an opening will get the next available position. 
However, when Mr. Coakley's name reached the head of the principal list, 
the list unaccountably ended. Similarly, contrary to custom, Mr. Coakley 
was not asked to serve a second year as principal of an evening school. 
Again, Mr. Coakley did not hear any evidence or mention that his performance, 
which pays an extra stipend, was in any way unsatisfactory. 

Such incidents as those involving Messrs. Rosengard and Coakley confirm 
the impression among administrators that sanctions may be applied by the 
School Committee against those who step out of line in political matters. 



-39- 



Findings of Finance Commission 

II. Teachers and Non-Academic Employees 

(1) MANY EMPLOYEES OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE BELIEVE THAT THE PURCHASE 
OF TESTIMONIAL TICKETS AND PROMOTIONS AND DEMOTIONS IN THE SCHOOL 
SYSTEM ARE RELATED. 

(2) FOR MANY REASONS, INCLUDING THE MEANS OF DISTRIBUTING TESTIMONIAL 
TICKETS, MANY SCHOOL EMPLOYEES FEEL THEY HAVE BEEN DIRECTLY OR 
INDIRECTLY PRESSURED TO PURCHASE TESTIMONIAL TICKETS. 

(3) ON AT LEAST ONE SPECIFIC OCCASION, A SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBER HAS 
EXPRESSED PERSONAL DISPLEASURE TO AN EMPLOYEE WHO SPOKE OUT 
AGAINST THE PURCHASE OF TICKETS TO HIS TESTIMONIAL BY A TEACHERS' 
ASSOCIATION. 

(4) A TEACHER'S REOUEST FOR AUTHORIZATION OF A CUSTOMARY TRIP TO A 
PROFESSIONAL MEETING WAS DENIED AT LEAST IN PART BECAUSE OF THE 
TEACHER'S OPPOSITION TO THE PURCHASE OF TESTIMONIAL TICKETS. 



-40- 



Many teachers see the purchase of testimonial tickets as necessary or 
at least related to promotions, demotions and favorable treatment in the 
school system. Boston High School teacher Lawrence K. Foti testified that 
he bought a ticket to Paul Ellison's testimonial because he was a member 
of a select faculty with a one year appointment. Boston Teachers Union 
President John Doherty reported that he had received "hundreds" of complaints 
from teachers about testimonials, and credited the Union's approval of a 
motion to file legislation banning testimonials to "a general feeling that 
there were too many testimonials and that people believe that they should 
attend those if ttiey want to advance in the system." Thomas J. Feenan, 
a teacher at Boston High School at the time of the Finance Commission's 
hearings, testified that he opposed testimonials held on behalf of people 
who control the employment of those to whom most of the tickets are sold 
because the practice "smacks of blackmail and bribery." Boston High School 
teachers, Henry L. Dionisio and Mark Crehan pointed to the transfer of 
William Maher from his special, higher paid assignment at Boston High to a 
lower paid position at another City high school as an instance of the 
repercussions that attend speaking out against the way School Committee 
members conduct their testimonials. 

Teachers testified that they have felt pressure to buy or sell 
testimonial tickets. Some pointed to unwillingness to violate a "custom" 
of the School Committee. Others complained to union officials that names 
were taken of those who had bought tickets; and some teachers objected to 
having been asked to sell tickets by persons above them in the school 
hierarchy, often by administrators who had power to decide their rating. 
Cesare Yannetty, a teacher at Boston Trade High School, testified that the 



■41 



teachers' association was afraid of offending candidates by unequal con- 
tributions to testimonials, and moreover, that many Trade teachers believed 
their extra $1080 stipend would be jeopardized if they refused to buy 
tickets. 

In addition to advancement, special assignments, and extra stipends, 
authorization by the School Committee of trips to professional meetings 
may be affected by a teacher's participation in or opposition to testimon- 
ials. One teacher testified that after he opposed a donation by the Boston 
Trade High School Teachers' Association to the testimonial of John J. 
Kerrigan, the School Committee refused him authorization to attend a; convention 
that he had attended for the previous four years. The Finance Commission 
believes with Mr. Pirrone that this denial proceeded at least in part from 
his position on testimonials. 

The Finance Commission notes that teachers and administrators who 
testified exhibited considerable anxiety about commenting on School Committee 
members or their fund-raising tactics. Teachers believed that testifying 
to this Commission might have adverse consequenses on their careers. 
Experience proved them right. Several of the Boston High School teachers 
who described the pressure applied by Mr. Lllison and their principal, 
Mr. Ippolito, were transferred to other schools where salary scales are 
lower. Myron Croteau, a Boston Trade High School teacher who testified 
that he felt pressured to buy a testimonial ticket, lost his job after 
testifying. Though other explanations have been given, the Finance Commission 
believes that criticism of the testimonial process caused these changes. 

Extreme nervousness, reluctance to provide more than minimal answers 
to questions, and, on some occasions, lack of candor to the point of apparent 
perjury, marked the testimony of several witnesses. Frank Laquidara, for 

-42- 



instance, the principal of the evening session at Boston Trade School, 
lied. He claimed that he occasionally purchased one or two tickets. 
Recalled to the hearings and confronted with records showing that he 
had made out checks for $625 to Mr. Tierney's testimonial and $250 to 
Mr. Kerrigan's testimonial, he acknowledged these contributions. 

The apprehension of employees about speaking out against practices 
of which they disapprove, the hesistancy with which they responded to 
even the most innocuous questions of fact, and the occurrence of several 
transfers and dismissals after comments about testimonials were made, 
whether at faculty meetings or to the Finance Commission, are in them- 
selves indications of the alarming degree to which politics rules the 
conduct and fortunes of employees of the School Committee. 



-43- 



FINDINGS OF THE FINANCE COMMISSION 



EFFECT OF TESTIMONIALS ON EDUCATIONAL PERSONNEL AND ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES. 



(1) HEADS OF AT LEAST TWO PROGRAMS HAVE SUGGESTED TO MEMBERS OF THEIR 
FACULTIES THAT THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE MIGHT DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO 
CONTINUE A PROGRAM OR RETAIN PERSONNEL ON THE BASIS OF VOLUME OF 
SALES OF TESTIMONIAL TICKETS. 

(2) THE DECISION TO DISMISS THE ENTIRE STAFF OF BOSTON HIGH SCHOOL 
AND TO REASSIGN ONLY CERTAIN TEACHERS TO THAT SCHOOL, WHERE SALARIES 
ARE HIGHER THAN IN OTHER SCHOOLS, RESULTED AT LEAST IN PART FROM 
FACULTY CONTROVERSIES OVER TESTIMONIALS AND FROM TESTIMONY TO THE 
FINANCE COMMISSION CONCERNING THE SOLICITATION OF CONTRIBUTIONS 

FOR TESTIMONIALS. 

(3) THE SALE OF TESTIMONIAL TICKETS HAS HAD A DISRUPTIVE INFLUENCE 
ON THE FACULTIES OF BOSTON HIGH SCHOOL AND BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL AND 
HAS CAUSED ANIMOSITY AND DIVISIVENESS WITHIN TEACHERS' PROFESSIONAL 
ASSOCIATIONS. 

(4) THE SALE OF TESTIMONIAL TICKETS IN SCHOOLS BY TEACHERS' COLLEAGUES 
AND SUPERIORS IS FRAUGHT WITH RISKS OF REAL OR PERCEIVED EXERCISE OF 
PRESSURE, PRODUCES INTRA-FACULTY CONTROVERSY AND DISRUPTS THE EDUCATIONAL 
FUNCTIONS OF SCHOOLS. 

(5) ON ONE OCCASION, A DISCUSSION OF TESTIMONIALS DOMINATED A FACULTY'S 
MONTHLY IN-SERVICE MEETING, A SERIOUS OCCURRENCE BECAUSE THE FACULTY 

MEETS INFREQUENTLY. 



-44- 



Administrators and teachers in the Boston school system realize that 
testimonials affect not only individual personnel, but also entire programs. 
The Finance Commission received contradictory testimony concerning incidents 
at Boston High School, a special work/study school having salary levels 
several thousands of dollars above those in other schools. On the basis 
of all the evidence, it has concluded that the following summary correctly 
sets forth the events at Boston High School in 1972. 

In the Spring of 1972, Director Joseph Ippolito announced to the 
faculty that the previous evening School Committee member Paul Ellison had 
called him. In his phone call, Ellison urged the faculty to buy tickets to 
Ellison's testimonial and stated that he expected to see the Director and his 
wife at the "time". Mr. Ippolito openly stated to the faculty that the special 
program and the teachers' assignment to it could be jeopardized if they did 
not comply. 

Controversy followed this announcement, resulting in the dismissal 
of two teachers. Several opponents of testimonials got lower rating marks 
than they had ever previously received. One of the teachers dismissed was 
William Maher, who had cautioned the faculty to buy tickets because 
Mr. Ellison could be "vindictive". John Doherty, President of the Boston 
Teachers' Union, who received twelve formal complaints from Boston High 
teachers, characterized the faculty as having felt pressured. 

The Boston High incident is not an isolated example. Teachers and 
administrators at Boston Trade School, for instance, felt that their 
failure to contribute generously to testimonials might cause the elimination 
of their additional $1080 stipend and an evening session. 

-45- 



Myron Croteau, a teacher in the evening session at Boston Trade who 
subsequently lost his position, testified that his Director, Frank Laquidara, 
approached him and other employees on one occasion with his paycheck in one 
hand and testimonial tickets in the other. Mr. Laquidara warned that the 
School Committee could very well decide to close the night school. Since 
paychecks for the evening session were customarily delivered by mail in 
envelopes stamped and self-addressed by employees to their homes, Mr. Croteau 
felt this method of delivery was chosen to pressure him to buy a ticket. 
Teachers Union President John Doherty testified that he received complaints 
concerning hand delivery of paychecks. 

Trade teacher Cesere Yannetty and BASAS officer Wilfred O'Leary also 
believed that purchase of testimonial tickets would make the School Committee 
look favorably on requests from specific schools. 

The apprehension of teachers is correct: School Committee members do 
make decisions on the basis of support of testimonials and political 
loyalty. Following the outspoken controversy at Boston High, the School 
Committee voted to dismiss the entire staff of the school and to reassign 
only some of the existing faculty. The Finance Commission believes that 
this decision partially resulted from School Committee members' desire to 
punish those who criticized testimonials. 

Teachers from Boston High and Boston Trade testified that disagreements 
over testimonials divided the faculties of the two schools for a substantial 
period of time, diverting attention from the educational programs. Petitions 
and counter-petitions, criminal charges against Mr. Ippolito filed by several 
teachers, and letters of condemnation and support of administrators split 
the faculties and created an atmosphere of strife, disruption and division 
in the schools. The devotion at Boston High School of an entire monthly 



-46- 



in-service neeting, one of the relatively few times in the academic 
year when an entire faculty customarily gathers to discuss school 
policy, to the topic of testimonials was only one instance of 
the intrusion of testimonials on the primary purposes of a school 
system. Thomas Feenan and Henry L. Dionisio, teachers at Boston 
High School, testified that morale among teachers at Boston High 
suffered because of the controversy over the purchase and sale 
of testimonial tickets. Mr. Feenan testified that the controversy 
even affected students. When they became aware of the split in 
the faculty, some of them expressed disillusionment with the mixing 
of politics and education in Boston. "They feel that one must pay 
his way", Mr. Feenan commented. 



-47- 



FINDINGS OF THE FINANCE COMMISSION 

EFFECT OF TESTIMONIALS ON COLLECTIVE BARGAINING UNITS AND OTHER SCHOOL 
EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS. 



(1) ASSOCIATIONS REPRESENTING JOB CATEGORIES UNDER THE DIRECT 
CONTROL OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE, NOT SUBJECT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT'S 
NOMINATION, HAVE MADE SUBSTANTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO TESTIMONIALS. 

(2) PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS ACT AS VEHICLES FOR 
DONATIONS TO SCHOOL COMMITTEE TESTIMONIALS. THE ASSOCIATIONS, NOT 
INDIVIDUALS, MAKE THE DONATIONS. 

(3) UNIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS OF SCHOOL EMPLOYEES BELIEVE IT NECESSARY 
TO DONATE TO TESTIMONIALS IN ORDER TO PRESERVE OR ESTABLISH THE 
"GOOD WILL" OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE OR TO GAIN FAVORABLE TREATMENT. 

(4) THE BASAS ORGANIZATION WAS FORMED AT LEAST IN PART TO RELIEVE 
ITS MEMBERS FROM THE NEED TO VIE AGAINST EACH OTHER IN PURCHASES OF 
TESTIMONIAL TICKETS. 

(5) THE BOSTON TEACHERS' UNION PASSED A RESOLUTION BANNING UNION 
PARTICIPATION IN TESTIMONIAL FUND-RAISING AND URGING AMENDMENT OF 
CHAPTER 55 TO COVER ALL SCHOOL COMMITTEE FUND-RAISING ACTIVITIES, 
INCLUDING TESTIMONIALS. 



-48- 



The School Committee does not just vote on individual appointments, 
promotions and transfers of teachers and administrators in the Boston 
school system. It also oversees all personnel. These include school 
custodians, cafeteria v/orkers, clerical employees, supervisors of attendance, 
school physicians and nurses. Many of the employment classifications have 
formed unions or professional associations which bargain with the School 
Committee over such matters as salary schedules, fringe benefits and 
working conditions. The School Committee thus controls overall personnel 
policies affecting groups or categories of employees as well as details 
of personnel placement and promotion for particular members of those groups. 

For some school employees, such decisions filter through the Super- 
intendent, who, under Section 58 of the Rules and Regulations of the 
School Committee, has the authority to appoint, reappoint, designate, 
assign, promote, transfer and remove teachers, supervisors, librarians, 
nurses, principal clerks, etc., subject to the approval of the School 
Committee. As previously stated, Chapter 150 of the Acts of 1972 attempted 
to increase the Superintendent's independent power over academic employees. 
Despite these provisions, the School Committee still controls all appoint- 
ments. The Superintendent cannot nominate employees such as custodians 
and secretaries. Moreover, the Superintendent makes, only nominations. 
The School Committee approves these nominations and thus, it, not the 
Superintendent, controls all personnel decisions. 

The Chief School house Custodian makes recommendations on personnel 
decisions affecting custodians and the Secretary of the School Committee 
makes recommendations concerning clerical personnel. But in both categories 
the School Committee ultimately decides. 



-49- 



As this summary suggests, few limits exist on the School Committee's 
power over personnel matters for large numbers of employees. These limits 
consist of nothing more that the assertiveness and independence of the 
Superintendent, the Chief School house Custodian and the Secretary. In 
other areas, such as cafeteria employees and school physicians, the School 
Committee has virtually absolute control over personnel matters affecting 
both groups and individuals. 

Unions and associations representing employees have made substantial 
contributions to School Committee testimonials. Mr. Tierney received checks 
amounting to $4700 from employee organizations; Mr. McDonough received checks 
totalling $4000; and Mr. Kerrigan received checks totalling $1100. Further 
contributions from employee groups may have come in cash, since fifteen 
tickets ($375) to Mr. McDonough's testimonial recorded in the newsletter of 
the Administrative Guild Local 398 do not appear in the checks obtained by 
subpoena. (See Appendix C for a listing of contributions by check from 
employee unions and professional organizations). The officers or membership 
customarily decide the number of testimonial tickets the group will purchase. 
The organization's treasury, derived from membership dues, then pays for 
the tickets. 

Individual School Committee members do not like to admit that they 

accept contributions from employee associations. Mr. John 0'Leary, for 

instance, who directed School Committee member Tierney's testimonial, testified 

that checks bearing the name of employee groups were actually individual 

contributions from members of the groups. According to him, they had 

merely used their organizations as a convenient way of buying a few tickets 

at one time. The Finance Commission found no evidence to support this 

contention. 

-50- 



It should be noted however, that recipients do not always accept 
large single contributions from employee organizations. Robert Buck, 
treasurer of BASAS, testified that Mr. O'Leary asked that BASAS 1 
contribution to Mr. Tierney's testimonial be made in small amounts. 
He refused to accept a single check from BASAS for $3000. As requested, 
Mr. Buck delivered the contribution in the form of unsigned money orders 
for $50 each and Mr. O'Leary signed 60 different names (most fictitious) 
before depositing them. Likewise, Mr. McDonough refused a payment of 
$3625 from BASAS for testimonial tickets for his May "time" until October. 
Apparently, Mr. McDonough feared that disclosure of such a large contribution 
might adversely affect his November 1973 re-election campaign. 

Testimony from BASAS officers Wilfred O'Leary and Frank Power, Jr. 
supports the conclusion that groups wish their contributions to be known , 
to the School Committee members as group contributions. Mr. Power testified 
that one of the purposes for the formation of BASAS was to make testimonial 
contributions. Individual administrators felt the formation of a group 
organization would eliminate competition against one another in purchasing 
tickets. "So rather than having anyone go up individually purchasing tickets, 
the general feeling of the group was that it would be far better for there 
to be a collectivism about it and we would purchase the tickets and the 
people who received the tickets would be anonymous from our point of view," 
he testified. BASAS contributed $3625 to Mr. McDonough's testimonial and 
$3000 to Mr. Tierney's testimonial. Mr. Power acknowledged that some of 
BASAS' members wanted to purchase tickets to insure a favorable collective 
bargaining position with the School Committee. Wilfred O'Leary stated that 
the organization purchased tickets to create good will - important when 
requests were made of the School Committee by administrators or for particular 

-51- 



schools. 

Substantial evidence exists to support the conclusion that all 
employee groups are approached for the purchase of tickets and are expected 
to purchase substantial numbers of tickets according to their total member- 
ship. Ralph Vozella, a guidance counselor at English High School provided 
such evidence. He testified that he was asked to attend an organizational 
meeting before Mr. Tierney's testimonial in February of 1972. He indicated 
that he did not know Mr. Tierney and denied ever having sold tickets. 
Although the two did not know one another, Mr. Tierney had a good reason for 
calling upon Mr. Vozella. For several months before the meeting, Mr. Vozella 
was actively attempting to organize guidance counselors in the Boston school 
system into a bargaining group. At the organizational meeting he was asked 
"how much can you handle," to which Mr. Vozella responded, "I will send the 
tickets out to the guidance counselors, which is what I did." He recalled 
that he then received approximately 50 or 60 tickets which he mailed to each 
of the guidance counselors in the school system. 

Frank Laquidara, who was also present at the meeting, provided more 
evidence. He testified that many of those present represented employee groups 

Since March 1973 the Boston Teachers' Union has refused to purchase 
testimonial tickets in this manner. According to Union President John 
Doherty, the Union resolved to ban all participation in School Committee 
fund raising activities. The Union further resolved to sponsor legislation 
amending Chapter 55 of the Massachusetts General Laws to cover all School 
Committee fund raising activities, including testimonials. The Union thereby 
declared itself in favor of prohibiting any contribution to testimonials by 
public employees. 

-52- 



Witnesses who testified concerning contributions by employee unions 
and professional associations at no time mentioned any group enthusiasm 
about the achievements of a particular School Committee member. Rather, 
the link between contributions and favorable treatment for their group 
or its individuals motivated their participation in the testimonial process. 

The practice of collective bargaining units making contributions 
directly to members of the School Committee raises serious questions. 
The School Committee has the obligation to negotiate labor contracts with 
its employees solely in the interests of the citizens of Boston. These 
contract negotiations should not be influenced by the extent of contributions 
made by unions to School Committee members. 



■53- 



FINDINGS OF THE FINANCE COMMISSION 

EFFECT OF TESTIMONIALS ON CONTRACTING PROCEDURES OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

(1) THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE'S PLANNING AND ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT 
AWARDS SUBSTANTIAL NO-BID CONTRACTS AND SERVICE ORDERS. 

(2) THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE HAS NOT PROVIDED ADEQUATE GUIDELINES 
FOR THE AWARDING OF NO-BID CONTRACTS AND SERVICE ORDERS; GREAT 
LATITUDE FOR ABUSE EXISTS. 

(3) AM EMPLOYEE WHO PARTICIPATES IN THE AWARDING OF NO-BID CONTRACTS 
AND SERVICE ORDERS REGULARLY SENDS OUT TESTIMONIAL TICKETS, SOMETIMES 
WITH PERSONAL NOTES FROM HIMSELF, TO CONTRACTORS WITH WHOM THE SCHOOL 
COMMITTEE DOES BUSINESS. 

(4) A PLANNING AND ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE SOLICITS TESTI- 
MONIAL CONTRIBUTIONS FROM CONTRACTORS IN SECRET CLAIMING THAT HIS 
DEPARTMENT HEAD WOULD NOT APPROVE OF THE PRACTICE. HOWEVER, SCHOOL 
COMMITTEE MEMBERS KNOW THAT THIS EMPLOYEE SOLICITS FROM BUSINESSES 
WHICH PERFORM SCHOOL CONTRACTS. 

(5) MANY CONTRACTORS CONTRIBUTE IN EQUAL AMOUNTS TO ALL SCHOOL 
COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND DO NOT LIMIT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR FRIENDS. 
SUCH BEHAVIOR INDICATES THAT CONTRACTORS BUY TICKETS SENT TO THEM 
IN ORDER TO OBTAIN FURTHER BUSINESS FROM THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE. 



•54- 



On September 5, 1973, the Finance Commission issued a comprehensive 
report on contracts awarded by the School Committee without public 
advertising. On September 12, 1973, the Finance Commission issued another 
report dealing with legal requirements for the awarding of School Committee 
contracts. 

These reports revealed the following: 

1. Most contracts awarded by the School Committee were illegal. They 
lacked two requirements of State law: the Mayor's signature and the Mayor's 
approval of contracts over $2000 without public advertising. 

2. The School Committee awards a substantial amount of no-bid business. 
In 1972, for instance, the School Committee awarded 112 no-bid contracts in 
excess of $2000 each, totalling $2,132,597. 

3. The awarding of contracts by the School Committee is under the 

general control of the Business Manager, who has broad discretionary powers 

under section 1, Chapter 318 of the Acts of 1906 and section 1, Chapter 231 

of the Acts of 1932. The only rules and regulations which the Finance 

Commission located concerning the awarding of contracts for the purchase of 

equipment and supplies consisted of sections 116 and 117 of Chapter VI of 

the School Committee Rules and Regulations (adopted in 1935), which reads as 

follows: 

116. "He [the Business Manager] shall annually, and from time 
to time, advertise in the City Record, published in the 
City of Boston, for proposals to furnish any supplies or 
equipment except text and reference books, film and film 
strips, the estimated cost of which shall be in excess of 
two thousand ($2000) dollars unless the preparation of such 
proposals would cause delay in the furnishing of supplies 
or equipment needed promptly in the schools. In such cases 
competitive bids showing detailed costs of the various items 
in each schedule shall be obtained." (as amended 7/16/62) 



■55- 



4. The Board of Superintendents approves contracts for professional 
services. Such contracts are then approved by the entire School Committee. 
The Business Manager and the Chairman of the School Committee execute 
contracts for non-professional services. 

5. There are no procedures regulating the awarding of non-advertised 
contracts. In purchasing supplies and equipment, the Business Manager 
determines whether to have public advertising as well as the procedures 
followed in awarding no-bid contracts. In contracts awarded without 
public advertising to professionals, the Finance Commission did not find 
any written rules or regulations. 

After the reports were released, the Mayor insisted that the School 
Committee comply with State law regarding contracts. As a result, the 
Mayor now signs all contracts of the School Committee in excess of $2000. 
In addition, no-bid contracts in excess of $2000 are handled in the same 
manner as those of other City departments. The School Committee sends a 
letter to the Mayor requesting his approval to the awarding of each contract. 
The Mayor then sends the letter to the Finance Commission for its review. 
In all instances, the Mayor approves the contract before its award. 

With the exception of this new procedure, the School Committee has 
not taken any action on a voluntary basis to improve its procedure for 
awarding contracts. 

The investigation of the Finance Commission into the effect of 
testimonials on the operations of the School Committee demonstrates clearly 
the need for the adoption of stricter rules and regulations regarding the 
awarding of contracts by the School Committee. 

-56- 



A full-time employee of the School Committee who plays a substantial 
role in the awarding of no-bid contracts regularly mails testimonial 
tickets to contractors with whom the School Committee does no-bid business. 
Because he is under the impression that "you must do something for these 
people," Elmo Boari , a structural engineer in charge of alterations and 
repairs in the Department of Planning and Engineering, mails out up to 
200 testimonial tickets on behalf of School Committee members to contractors. 
He often encloses a personal note saying, "your contributions will be greatly 
appreciated, please make the check payable to ...." Mr. Boari claims that he 
conceals these solicitations from the head of his department, whom he knows 
would disapprove. However, members of the School Committee know full well 
what happens because Mr. Boari obtains the tickets from their assistants. And 
the School Committee has done nothing to stop or discourage it. 

In the course of analyzing contributions to testimonials for School 
Committee members Kerrigan, Tierney and McDonough, the Finance Commission 
found that businesses contributed a total of $7,075, and that forty-five 
contractors doing business with the School Committee, often on a no-bid 
basis, contributed to two or more testimonials. (See Appendix D). The uniformity 
of the contributions suggests that these contractors contributed not because 
of friendship with an individual School Committee member. Instead, they 
believed that buying tickets was necessary to obtain business from the 
Department of Planning and Engineering. In other words, contractors view 
the purchase of tickets to testimonials as an "entrance fee". 

The sworn testimony of Kenneth M. Calvagne, President of C & C 
Fence Company, Incorporated, supports this conclusion. Mr. Calvagne's 



corporation erects chain link and wood fences and since 1971 has averaged 
between $12,000 and $25,000 of business a year from the School Committee. 
During 1973, C & C Fence obtained contracts from Mr. Boari and from two 
other employees of the Department of Planning and Engineering. On at least 
six occasions Mr. Calvagne received two tickets for testimonials in his 
office mail. He testified that he associated the buying of tickets with 
"being in business" and stated that the reason he buys tickets for School 
Committee members and not for other testimonials is simple. He does business 
only with the School Committee. 



-58- 



TESTIMONIALS AND VIOLATIONS OF 
MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL LAWS, 
CHAPTERS 55 and 268A 



School Committee members have consistently violated the letter 
and spirit of Massachusetts law in connection with their testimonials. 
On the one hand, they have ignored those provisions of Chapter 55 of 
the Massachusetts General Laws regulating the receipt and expenditure 
of contributions by candidates for public office. Perhaps even more 
importantly, School Committee members have flaunted the safeguards 
contained in Chapters 55 and 268A, which attempt to insure that employees 
are not coerced to support candidates in return for the continuation of 
jobs and programs. 
ProvisioRS of Chapter 55 Regulating Campaign Contributions and Expenditures 

Section 11 of Chapter 55 prohibits any public employee from "directly 
or indirectly" soliciting any contribution "for the political campaign purposes 
of any candidate for public office or of any political committee, or for 
any political purpose whatever". Section 12 prohibits the solicitation of 
contributions in any state, county, or municipal building; and Section 13 
provides that no public employee may "directly or indirectly, give or 
deliver" to another public employee "any money or other valuable thing 
on account of, or to be applied to, the promotion of any political object 
whatever." 

While Section 13 of Chapter 55 appears to prohibit public employees 
from making political contributions of any kind, in 1964, then Attorney 
General Edward W. Brooke interpreted the law to permit contributions by 
public employees to legally constituted political committees. Mr. Brooke 

-59- 



acknowl edged that Section 13 was written into law "to protect public 
employees from political exploitation including coercion, intimidation, 
political blackmail or 'kickbacks.'" However, he pointed to Section 6 
of Chapter 55 which states that any individual may contribute to candidates 
or to legally constituted political committees. He argued that despite 
the words "directly or indirectly", Section 13 prohibits only contribu- 
tions to "an officer, clerk or person" in the service of the Commonwealth 
or of any county, city or town, not to political committees legally 
organized under Chapter 55. 

Mr. Brooke's interpretation of the law has never been tested in court. 
However, this interpretation has been relied upon by all elected officials 
in the raising of funds for political campaigns even though it nullifies 
the explicit prohibition in Section 13 of Chapter 55 against political 
contributions by public employees. 

In addition to the provisions of Chapter 55 designed to protect public 
employees (Section 11 through 15), the law requires the scrupulous reporting 
of the sources and amounts of all political contributions and expenditures. 

School Committee members claimed that two loopholes existed in Chapter 
55. First, they claimed that the funds raised at their testimonials were 
not "contributions" within the meaning of Chapter 55. Contributions are 
defined as gifts of money "for the purpose of influencing the nomination 
or election" of any person. School Committee members never stated that 
funds received at testimonials would be used for campaign purposes. Rather, 
they were deliberately vague about the purposes for which the money was 
raised. Even though most contributors believed they were giving for political 
purposes, and even though funds raised at testimonials were actually used 



•60- 



for campaign purposes, School Committee members argued that such funds 
were not raised for that purpose. Consequently, they claimed that their 
testimonials were not covered by the restrictions and requirements of 
Chapter 55. 

Second, School Committee members asserted that they were not "candidates" 
when funds were collected at testimonials. Thus, they maintained they were 
not required to report testimonial contributions and expenditures. Prior 
to the amendments to Chapter 55 effectve January 1, 1974, no definition of 
"candidate" appeared in the statute. As a result, School Committee members 
alleged that even though they held elective office, they did not have to 
report testimonial receipts or expenditures or otherwise comply with the 
restrictions imposed by Chapter 55 until they publicly announced their 
candidacies or until they filed nomination papers. School Committee members 
uniformly attempted to evade Chapter 55 by holding testimonials prior to 
the filing of nomination papers and prior to announcing their re-election 
intentions. * 

The Finance Commission considers these excuses for non-compliance with 

the provisions of Chapter 55 frivolous. In fact, Section 11 is not limited 

to "contributions" as defined in the Chapter, but instead specifically 

includes any gift, payment, assessment, subscription, or promise of money 

for any political purpose whatever. Section 13 prohibits public employees 

-61- 

* In its 1973 Session, the General Court attempted to tighten 
the requirements of Chapter 55 and eliminate some of the abuses and 
evasions commonly committed by School Committee members and others. The 
amendment to Chapter 55, effective January 1, 1974, provides that contribu- 
tions to testimonials and disbursements of the proceeds must be disclosed 
in reports filed at the same intervals as candidates' reports. The amended 
version defines a candidate as all elected officials and persons who declare 
candidacy after holding a testimonial or disbursing funds. As a result, 
School Committee members will no longer be able to dodge the disclosure 
requirements of Chapter 55 by holding a testimonial prior to declaring 
their candidacies. 



from giving or delivering "any money or other valuable thing on account of, 
or to be applied to, the promotion of any political object whatever". With 
respect to the reliance by School Committee members on the claimed loophole 
in Chapter 55 concerning the meaning of "candidates", although the Finance 
Commission believes this claim to be without legal merit, the question has 
become moot. The amendment to Chapter 55, effective January 1, 1974, defines 
candidates to include any elected official. 

Moreover, the opinion of Mr. Brooke did not make legal the contributions 
to testimonials of School Committee members by public employees. Such 
contributions were not made to committees organized under Chapter 55, but 
rather to School Committee members themselves or to loosely organized 
committees. Thus, even assuming the validity of Mr. Brooke's opinion, 
contributions to testimonials by School employees violated Section 13 of 
Chapter 55. 

Regardless of the arguments of the School Committee, one thing is clear. 
By circumventing the law, School Committee members achieved the result which 
Chapter 55 sought to prevent: they have politicized the workings of the 
School Department and weakened morale by spreading the impression that 
personnel policies rest on a system of patronage and quasi-political 
contributions rather than on merit. 



-62- 



Violations by School Committee Members of the Donation, Receipt, 
Expenditure and Reporting Requirements of Chapter 55. 

School Committee members violated the letter and spirit of Chapter 55 
in the following ways: 

John J. Kerrigan 

John J. Kerrigan accepted direct political campaign contributions from 
five School employees for his 1973 campaign. These contributions clearly 
violated Section 13 of Chapter 55, which forbids any person in the service 
of the City of Boston from directly or indirectly giving or delivering to 
any other person in the service of the City anything of value to be applied 
to the promotion of any political object whatever. He further violated 
Section 2 of Chapter 55 by commingling funds from his testimonial and his 
campaign. Mr. Kerrigan violated the reporting requirements of Section 16 
by failing to disclose all contributions and by omitting himself from his 
contributors' list. 

Between January 1973 and June 1973, John J. Kerrigan paid for campaign 
expenses from the proceeds of a testimonial held in October 1972. The 
Kerrigan Friendship Dinner checking account issued checks to cover Mr. 
Kerrigan's primary campaign months before any of the campaign contributions 
appeared in the candidate's report. However, no contributor to the testi- 
monial was reported as a contributor to the Kerrigan campaign even though 
the money was used for political purposes. Since 81% of the $19,715 in 
checks received for the testimonial came from School Department employees, 
and since employees were engaged in selling testimonial tickets to their 
colleagues within school buildings, Mr. Kerrigan violated the spirit and 
purpose of Sections 11, 12 and 13 of Chapter 55. 



•63- 



Mr. Kerrigan violated the purpose of Section 16 by failing to report 
donations to his testimonial as campaign contributions even though he used 
these funds for political purposes. Mr. Kerrigan thus received indirect 
campaign contributions from public employees over whose employment he had 
control. The proceeds from this circumvention of the law amounted to an 
average contribution of $33.48 from 409 permanent and temporary employees, 
and an average of $171.43 from seven employee groups or professional 
associations. No record is available of cash contributions to Mr. Kerrigan 
from employees or employee organizations. 

Paul J. Ellison 

Paul Ellison evaded the provisions of Sections 11, 12 and 13 of Chapter 
55 by using a minimum of $11,561.87 or a maximum of $14,561.87 of the 
$24,053.13 collected for his May 1972 testimonial for campaign expenses and 
the repayment of loans applied to political expenses. Some loans repaid by 
Mr. Ellison from testimonial proceeds may have been personal loans; thus 
the exact amount of funds used for political purposes in evasion of Chapter 
55 is uncertain. Because the State Street Bank and Trust Company, where 
Mr. Ellison deposited his testimonial proceeds, did not retain copies of 
contributor's checks, it is impossible to calculate precisely the percentage 
of contributions received from public employees. However, both Mr. Ellison 
and his testimonial chairman, James Crecco, admitted in testimony before the 
Finance Commission that many of the donors were School employees. The 
solicitation and use of monies collected from public employees to pay off 
campaign loans constituted violations of the purposes of Sections 11, 12 and 
13 of Chapter 55. Failure to report contributors to the testimonial violated 
the purpose of Section 16. From his own Reception Committee, Mr. Ellison 



■64- 



disbursed money for campaign expenditures, personal purposes and testimonial 
expenses. These payments violated Section 2 of Chapter 55 which requires 
that political accounts be kept separate from all other funds. 

John J. McDonough 

John J. McDonough even more blatantly evaded the purposes of Chapter 55 
by transferring $10,711.27, or 83 per cent of the total proceeds of his 
May 1973 testimonial, to the Committee to Re-elect John McDonough. In some 
cases, the exact amount of deposits to the bank account of the McDonough 
Friendship Reception were withdrawn in the form of checks to the McDonough 
campaign account. Laundering these contributions through a testimonial account 
should not make them legal. School employees and organizations representing 
employees gave seventy-eight per cent of the testimonial proceeds collected. 

The average contribution from 188 employees amounted to $31.45. Con- 
tribution from 188 employees averaged $800, including a $3,625 contribution 
from BASAS. Since Mr. McDonough used the same methods of soliciting contribu- 
tions as did other School Committee members, and since he also received 
testimonial contributions from corporations, he violated the purposes of 
Sections 7, 11, 12 and 13 of Chapter 55. His failure to report testimonial 
contributors on his candidate's report constituted a clear evasion of the 
purpose of Section 16. 

Paul R. Tierney 

Paul R. Tierney similarly committed direct violations of Section 16 
of Chapter 55 by failing to list a $5,000 loan from himself to his campaign 
as a contribution. 



-65- 



Legal Restrictions on the Conduct of Public Officials 

Chapter 268A of the General Laws forbids conduct by public officials 
and by members of the public which would create conflicts of interest or 
would lead to abuses of official duties. Section 2 forbids, upon pain of 
criminal penalty, any municipal employee from corruptly asking for, 
soliciting or accepting money for himself or for any other person or entity 
in return for being influenced in his performance of any act within his 
official responsibility. Section 2 also forbids, upon pain of criminal 
penalty, the corrupt giving of money, directly or indirectly, to anyone 
or to any entity with intent to influence any act within the official 
responsibility of a municipal employee. In addition, to criminal action 
Section 21 permits a city to bring a civil action against any person who 
has acted to his economic advantage in violation of Sections 2 or 3, and 
to recover damages in the amount of such economic advantage, or $500, 
whichever is greater. 

In addition, Chapter 55 of the General laws seeks to prevent misuse 
by elected officials of their powers in the hiring, firing, promotion and 
demotion of personnel. Section 14 provides that a public servant cannot be 
forced to contribute to any political fund or to work in any political 
campaign and that he "shall not be removed or otherwise prejudiced for 
refusing to do so". Section 15 provides that no public official "shall dis- 
charge, promote or degrade an officer or employee or change his official 
rank or compensation, or promise or threaten so to do, for giving, withholding 
or neglecting to make a contribution of money or other valuable thing for 
a political purpose". 

-66- 



In addition to the provisions of Chapters 55 and 268A of the General 
Laws which provide criminal penalties, Section 3 of Chapter 268A contains 
a standard of conduct for public officials. This standard forbids public 
officials from engaging in conduct which would "give reasonable basis for 
the impression that any person can improperly -influence him or unduly enjoy 
his favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is unduly 
affected by the. . .influence of any party or person". This Section also 
forbids any public official from pursuing "a course of conduct which will 
raise suspicion among the public that he is likely to be engaged in acts 
that are in violation of his trust". 

Based on the findings contained in this report, the Finance Commission 
believes that School Committee members have violated Sections 14 and 15 
of Chapter 55 and Sections 2, 3 and 23 of Chapter 268A. These probable 
violations are numerous and include the following serious examples: 

1. The refusal of Superintendent Willaim Leary to renominate David 
Rosengard as an Assistant Superintendent of Schools (see Page 31). 

2. The decision not to promote John Coakley to principal of a day 
school and to remove him from his position as principal of an evening 
school (see Page 31 ). 

3. The dismissal of the entire staff of Boston High School (see 
Page 44). 

4. The attempts by faculty members at Boston Trade High School to 
maintain their "$1,040 stipend" by making testimonial contributions (see 
Page 45). 

5. The contributions made to testimonials by unions and associations 



-67- 



of school employees to preserve or establish the goodwill of the School 
Committee or to gain favorable treatment (see Page 48). 

6. The collection of testimonial contributions from contractors 
doing business with the School Committee by an employee who participates 
in the awarding of no-bid contracts (see Page 54). 

The Finance Commission believes that testimonials are fraught with 
the constant risk of violation of Chapters 55 and 268A. Sworn testimony 
received by the Finance Commission demonstrates that persons contribute 
out of fear and with the expectation of favorable treatment. Whether 
actual proof sufficient for indictment and conviction under these laws 
can be obtained is irrelevant. The entire testimonial process creates an 
avenue for abuse by public officials in the performance of their official 
duties and permits elected officials to entice or coerce persons under 
their control to evade or violate the law. 
Future Testimonials by School Committee Members 

If School Committee members continue to hold testimonials or other 
fund raising events, they must comply with all applicable provisions of 
Chapters 55 and 268A. In soliciting contributions for testimonials, School 
Committee members and those who participate run the continual risk of 
violating the criminal sanctions of these laws. Because of the recent amend- 
ment to Chapter 55, the requirements of this Chapter apply to testimonials, 
whenever they are held. It is true that so long as Mr. Brooke's 1964 opinion 
remains in effect, elected officials will continue to rely on it to permit 
public employees to make contributions. However, it is the view of the Finance 
Commission that even if solicitations of School employees for testimonials do not 
violate criminal provisions, School Committee members cannot do so without 
violating the standards of conduct contained in Section 23 of Chapter 268A. 

-68- 



RECOMMENDATIONS 

The Finance Commission investigation demonstrates that the School 
Committee does not conduct itself in a manner calculated to improve public 
education in Boston. Instead, it has presided over a system riddled with 
politics and patronage in which glaring abuses of power in office have prevailed, 

Prior to the preparation of this report, the Finance Commission made 
numerous recommendations for changing various aspects of the School Committee's 
administration of public education. Among other things, the Finance Commission 
urged the School Committee to: 

1. Eliminate the Department of School Health Services and transfer 
responsibility for child health care to the Department of Health 
and Hospitals. 

2. Investigate the receipt and expenditure of school funds in the 
public schools and formulate policies regarding them. 

3. Establish guidelines for awarding contracts without public 
advertising based upon procedures followed by all other city 
departments. 

4. Take steps to eliminate the gross inequities in the distribution of 
financial resources among the various elementary, middle and high 
schools in Boston. 

5. Comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the 
awarding of all contracts. 

6. Comply with the open meeting law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
in connection with meetings of the School Committee by holding 
executive sessions only where permitted and in the manner provided 

by such law. 
Regrettably, the School Committee has failed to act voluntarily on any 

-69- 



of the recommendations made by the Finance Commission. Despite the refusal 
of the School Committee to implement changes recommended not only by the 
Finance Commission but by numerous other professional and civic organizations, 
in at least one instance, substantial change has taken place. Immediately 
after the issuance of the report of the Finance Commission on the illegality 
of school contracts, Mayor Kevin H. White informed the School Committee that 
he would refuse to make payment on any School Committee contract unless it 
complied in form and substance with applicable State law. Faced with the 
prospect of non-payment of its contractors, the School Committee has complied 
with the applicable laws, but not voluntarily so; the Mayor forced the School 
Committee to obey. 

The School Committee has demonstrated time and again its contempt for 
change and innovation. To a large extent, the continued growth of the City 
depends upon the quality of education provided in its public schools. Residents 
leave the City in order to obtain a better education for their children in suburban 
areas. Non-residents who might otherwise move to Boston fail to do so because 
of the poor quality of education in Boston. 

Based on the information gathered in its twenty-two month investigation of 
the School Committee, the Commission recommends the following: 

1. The abolition of the School Committee. The City's schools should be 
operated by a department answerable to the Mayor and City Council with maximum 
community participation. 

The Finance Commission is keenly aware that Boston's citizens defeated 
such a proposed change in a referendum held last November. The Finance 
Commission is convinced, however, that because of the circumstances under which 
this referendum took place, namely, the controversy surrounding the Federal 
Court's school desegregation order, the vote was not an expression of opinion 
on the most effective system of school administration, but rather a referendum 



■70- 



on court ordered busing. 

The Finance Commission strongly believes that structural changes are the 
only way to improve the quality. of education in Boston. The School Committee 
has consistently demonstrated unwill ingness to respond to community needs, to 
comply with the laws of the Commonwealth and of the United States, and to pro- 
vide quality education in Boston. Such a body should not be permitted to 
continue. 

The Finance Commission realizes that the abolition cr the School Committee 
cannot be achieved at the present time. The problems of integration currently 
consume the time and energy of all public officials and absorb the emotions of 
most of Boston's citizens. On the other hand, the Finance Commission strongly 
believes that at the appropriate time, when the present integration and busing 
controversy subsides, the structure of the School Committee must be changed. 
The replacement of the School Committee by a City Department answerable 
to the Mayor and City Council and with maximum community participation would 
offer the following advantages: 

(a) Subject to community approval, the Mayor would appoint a Super- 
intendent of Schools with total responsibility for the administration 
of public education, including the hiring of personnel. Unlike the 
present situation where the School Committee approves on an individual 
basis the hiring, firing, transferring and promoting of all personnel, 
with the results set forth in this report, the Superintendent of Schools 
would have authority to hire persons solely based on merit and not on 
politics and patronage. The Finance Commission is not naive enough to 
believe that politics and patronage can ever be totally eliminated from 
government. On the other hand, the outrageous nature of the School 
Committee's actions on personnel matters can and must be altered. The 
Finance Commission believes that a Superintendent of Schools charged 

-71- 



with the responsibility for hiring personnel without the obligation to 
obtain the approval of the Mayor would greatly reduce the problems 
existing under the present system. 

(b) The Mayor would have a far greater influence on the budget of the 
School Committee. Currently, the Mayor is responsible to and held 
accountable by the citizens of Boston for the City's tax rate; yet he 
exercises minimal control over the School Committee budget. The largest 
single expenditure in the City budget is for educati jn. The Finance 
Commission has no doubt that a Mayor held accountable for the tax rate 
could find significant expenditures for the School Committee budget to 
cut without in any way adversely affecting the quality of education in 
the public schools. 

(c) Any proposal involving the creation of a City Department in place 
of the School Committee would involve guaranteed maximum community 
participation. This participation must include such matters as 
finanicial expenditures, hiring of personnel and program development. 
The School Committee has taken few, if any, steps to involve parents in 
decision-making roles. In fact, it has, directly and indirectly, dis- 
couraged this essential process. The citizens of Boston need an opportunity 
to participate actively in the education of their children. 

(d) The Mayor has the responsibility for all other city departments. 
Placing the administration of the schools under his control would greatly 
enhance cooperation among city departments. As indicated in this report, 
the School Committee has consistently refused to work with other city 
departments to the detriment of Boston's children. Obviously, the 
possibility of abolishing the Department of School Health Services and 
transferring health care responsibility to the Department of Health and 



-72- 



Hospitals, as recommended by the Finance Commission (as well as by the 
Boston Municipal Research Bureau and other professionals) would be 
greatly enhanced if the administration of Boston's schools lay in the 
hands of a City Department answerable to the Mayor. Likewise, cooperation 
between school administrators and the Library Department, Youth Activities 
Department and Parks Department, would be significantly easier. 
The Finance Commission believes that abolishing the School Committee 
would greatly contribute to quality education in Boston. However, this is 
not the only solution. Others with expertise in the field may recommend 
the continued existence of an independent school committee. Whatever the 
change may be, since the Boston School Committee has failed to respond to the 
needs of Boston's children, the Finance Commission feels that structural changes 
of some kind in the administration of Boston's schools is critical. 

The Finance Commission trusts that responsible officials and community 
leaders will revive this issue when the emotions surrounding busing have abated. 

2. The Finance Commission strongly recommends that the School Committee 
discontinue its intense preoccupation with personnel matters. For too long 
the members of the School Committee have acted as surrogate administrators 
within the school system dealing with matters which clearly should be left in 
the hands of professionals. At the same time, the School Committee has neglected 
important fiscal, administrative and operational matters. 

The Finance Commission believes that all personnel decisions regarding 
the hiring, firing, transferring and promoting of personnel should be made 
by the Committee's staff of professional administrators. The reasons for this 
recommendation are obvious. The School Committee has based its decisions more 
on politics and patronage than on merit. It has used its power over the 
hiring and promotion of personnel to obtain substantial monetary contributions 



■73- 



from school employees. 

3. The Finance Commission recommends the legal prohibition of all 
elected and appointed public officials from raising funds from any person, 
firm or corporation for any non-political purpose. The practice of raising 
funds through testimonials and other devices for their own personal use is 
unconscionable and should be stopped. 

The Finance Commission strongly recommends that the Massachusetts 
Legislature and/or the Boston City Council take action promptly to eliminate 
this obvious violation of trust. 

4. The Finance Commission recommends that the 1964 Attorney General's 
opinion permitting public employees to contribute to political committees be 
reconsidered by the Attorney General. If this opinion is not overruled and if 
the prohibitions against political contributions by public employees contained in 
Section 13 are not made effective then the Finance Commission recommends that 
the law be amended to prohibit employees from contributing to their appointing 
authorities. 

The Finance Commission recognizes that the bar of political contributions 
by public employees contained in Section 13 touches upon individual rights. 
On the other hand, the abuses described in this report relating to pressures 
brought to bear on School Committee employees to contribute to testimonials for 
their employers must be eliminated. To prevent such abuses, the public interest 
dictates some limitations on the freedom of public employees to contribute. The 
Finance Commission believes that a prohibition against contributions by public 
employees to their appointing authorities is the fairest way to guarantee the 
rights of public employees while at the same time protecting them from pressure. 

Therefore, if existing law must be amended to prevent the type of abuses 
described in this report the Finance Commission recommends that such amendment 



-74- 



prohibit public employees and their immediate families from making contributions 
of any kind to their appointing authorities. Under this proposal School 
Committee employees and members of their immediate families would be prohibited ' 
from contributing to School Committee members. They could, however, contribute 
to other elected officials. Employees of other city departments would be 
prohibited from contributing to the Mayor or members of the City Council, but 
would be permitted to make contributions to other elected officials. Likewise, 
State employees would be prohibited from contributing to t.ieir immediate 
employees but could contribute to other elected officials. 

Unless and until public financing of campaigns eliminates the legitimate 
needs of persons running for office to raise funds, the Finance Commission urges 
the Massachusetts Legislature and the Boston City Council to take steps to 
eliminate the problems raised in this report regarding contributions to elected 
officials by public employees. 

5. The Finance Commission recommends that all elected officials in the 
City of Boston be required to divulge information regarding sources of income 
on a yearly basis. The fact that School Committee members for years have 
conducted testimonials and raised large sums of money as an adjunct to their 
offices, without disclosure to the public, argues strongly for prompt implement- 
ation of this recommendation. 

There is precedent for such income reporting requirements in Massachusetts 
and elsewhere. Massachusetts state officials are required by law to report 
annually under oath, all compensation received from any source for services 
Derformed. And in New York the City Council has recently passed an ordinance 
equiring disclosure of the kind recommended by the Finance Commission. This 
iction has been favorably viewed by the media in New York and in "Boston. There 
is no reason why elected officials in Boston should not be held to the same 
">tandard. Accordingly, the Finance Commission urges the City Council to enact 

-75- 



an ordinance requiring yearly disclosure of the sources of income of all elected 
officials. 

6. The Finance Commission recommends that the existing laws regulating 
the conduct of public officials, political fund raising and public meetings be 
vigorously enforced. It is a matter of public knowledge that these laws are 
widely ignored. One common excuse for inaction in the enforcement of political 
fund raising requirements has been that the laws are filled with "loopholes". 
However, it is notable that these alleged "loopholes" have not been subjected to 
judicial test. Moreover, the recent amendments strengthening Chapter 55 offer 
even less excuse for inaction. The Finance Commission also urges that the 
Mayor act under Section 21 of Chapter 268A of the General Laws to recover on 
behalf of the City the funds raised at the testimonials of School Committee 
members in probable violation of the provisions of the Chapter. 

The Finance Commission recognizes that the political financing laws are 
detailed and complex. It is inevitable that there will be unintentional technical 
infractions of some of these requirements, and it certainly is not the intent of 
the Finance Commission to recommend that the laws be used to harass candidates 
for public office. Nevertheless, where, as this report has demonstrated, elected 
[officials have systematically and consciously acted in direct violation of their 
public trust and duties there can be no substitute for the application of 
existing laws. 

The recommendations set forth above are intentionally limited. The 
r inance Commission strongly believes that testimonials in the form conducted by 
School Committee members in the past should be immediately terminated. However, 
the Finance Commission believes that stopping testimonials will not result in 
iubstantial change in the quality of education in Boston's schools. Such 



•76- 



improvement requires drastic change in the way in which Boston's schools are 
administered. The Finance Commission trusts that this report will assist in 
•accomplishing that end. 



-77- 



\ 



APPENDIX A 



LIST OF WITNESSES 



The Finance Commission received sworn testimony and docu- 
ments from the following witnesses identified below as to 
position and the date of their appearance. 

June 11, 1973 

Edward C. Winter, Secretary to the School Committee 
Carol D. Gold, Assistant to Ralph I. line. Chairman 

of the Boston Finance Commission 
Leo J. Burke, Business Manager of the School Committee 

June 12, 1973 

John Doherty, President of the Boston Teachers' Union 
Frank G. Power, Jr., Headmaster, Charlestown High School 

and President of BASAS 
Philip Pirrone, Teacher, Boston Trade High School 
Myron C. Croteau, Teacher, Boston Trade High School 

June 13, 1973 

Rollins Griffith, Assistant Superintendent, Boston 

School Committee 
John Doherty, resumed 
David Rosengard, retired Assistant Superintendent, 

Boston School Committee 

June 19, 1973 

Jeffrey Conley, Investigator, Boston Finance Commission 

Lorraine Ash, Teacher, Boston High School 

Henry L. Dionisio, Teacher, Boston High School 

Thomas Feenan, Teacher, Boston High School 

Mark Crehan, Teacher, Boston High School 

Timothy O'Connell, Teacher, Boston High School 



APPENDIX A - p. 2 



September 5, 1973 

Frank A. Laquidara, Project Director, Occupational 

Resource Center; Headmaster, Boston Evening Trade 

High School 
Thomas F. Cavanaugh, Teacher, Boston High School 
William J. Harrison, Associate Superintendent, Boston 

School Committee 

September 6, 1973 

John R. Coakley, Associate Director, Educational Planning 

Center 
Paul A. Kennedy, Associate Superintendent, Boston 

School Committee 
Joseph F. Carey, Director, Educational Planning Center 
Wilfred L. O'Leary, Headmaster, Boston Latin School 

September 10, 1973 

Herbert Hambleton, Executive Assistant to Superintendent 

William Leary 
James A. Crecco, Educational Specialist, Educational 

Planning Center 
John J. Kelly, Associate Superintendent, Boston School 

Committee 
Leo M. Howard, Assistant Superintendent, Boston School 

Committee 

September 11, 1973 

William J. Leary, Superintendent, Boston School Schools 

September 17, 1973 

Robert McCabe, Administrative Assistant to the Deputy 

Superintendent 
James A. Kelley, Coordinator, Department of Safety 
George E. Murphy, Assistant Director, Staff Development 

September 18, 1973 

Theodore S. Bakas , Attorney 

Francis X. Shiels, Administrative Assistant to James Hennigan 

John A. O'Leary, Administrative Assistant to Paul R. Tierney 

November 8, 1973 

Drew G. Doty, Employee, City Bank & Trust Company 

John Smolinsky, Employee, State Street Bank & Trust Company 

Oscar H. Nickers on, Employee, First National Bank 

Richard Crosby, Employee, Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company 



APPENDIX A - p. 3 

November 21, 1973 

Carol Belanger, former secretary to Paul Ellison 

November 29, 1973 

David Shulman, Employee, Liberty Bank & Trust Company 
Raymond Abdella, Employee, National Shawmut Bank 

February 7, 1974 

Salvatore J. Messina, Assistant Director, Department of 
Informational Services 

February 11, 1974 

Elmo P. Boari, Structural Engineer, Department of 

Planning & Engineering 
Kenneth Calvagne , C&C Fence Company 

February 12, 1974 

Robert F. Buck, Director, Business Education; Treasurer 

of BASAS 
R.alph Vozella, Guidance Counselor, English High School 
Anthony Olivieri, Teacher, Boston High School 
Joseph L. Ippolito, Director, Boston High School 

February 15, 1974 

Frank A. Laquidara (second appearance) 

March 4, 1974 

James Crecco (second appearance) 

J. Michael Freedberg, Field Director, Ellison campaign 1971 

March 5, 1974 

Paul J.Ellison, School Committee of the City of Boston 

March 11, 1974 

Emil J. Dow, Teacher, Timilty Junior High School 
Cesare J. Yannetty, Teacher, Boston Trade High School 

March 13, 1974 

Francis E. Casey, Teacher, Boston High School 
Lawrence K. Foti, Teacher, Boston High School 
Francis J. Sullivan, Teacher, Boston High School 

March 22, 1974 

John Arcadipane, Teacher, Boston Trade High School 
Richard R. Viscarello, Teacher, Boston Trade High School 
Joseph T. Flanagan, Teacher, Boston Trade High School 

March 29, 1974 

John A. O'Leary (second appearance) 



APPENDIX B 



boston school committeeman 

john Mcdonough 

friendship reception committee 



Dear Friend: 

Friends of Boston School Committeeman John IV Donough 
are planning to honor him with a reception and Cocktail party 
at the New England Aquarium on Thursday evening, May 17, 
1973, from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. 

John, as an unpaid member of the Boston School Com- 
mittee, has devoted much of his time and effort on behalf of 
the children of Boston. As you know, John has been involved in 
many civic endeavors over the years. 

So, we are writing to you as a friend of our honored guest 
to invite you to join with us in making this reception a success. 

Enclosed will be an order form with a return envelope. We 
would be most grateful for an early reply. 



Sincerely yours, 



Theadore Bakas, 
Chairman 
Enclosures 



APPENDIX C 



CONTRIBUTIONS BY CHECK TO SCHOOL COMMITTEE 
TESTIMONIALS BY EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS 



BASAS 

Boston School Nurses' Association 

Boston School Physicians' Association 

United City Employees Local 285 

Association of Heads of Departments 

Assistant Principals' Association 

Boston District Council 45 - AFL-CIO 

Boston High School Coaches 1 Association 

Boston Home Economics Teachers' 
Association 

Boston Public School Building 
Custodians' Association 

Boston School Cafeteria Association, 
Local 230. 



Tierney 


Kerrigan 


$ 3000. 


$ 




200. 




250. 


200. 






50. 




200. 


250. 




250. 


250. 






250. 




100. 


50. 




50. 



50. 
250. 
150. 



$ 3625. 
100. 

100. 



50, 



150. 



125. 



Totals 



$ 4700. 



$ 400. 



$4000. 



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