One out of three, it is a simple problem. You are a selectman and have to choose one of three finalists for a job as Hingham Ma., Town Administrator on December 4, 2008.
Ah, but then the past of one of the finalists comes up, sooooooo sad.
Too bad for former Dover City Manager, former Kingman Arizona City Manager, former Kansas City, City Manager, former head of NHMA, Paul Beecher, that some people, say like us taxpayer activists, have long memories.
Here is a quote from the Mayor of Kingman, Arizona about former employee Paul Beecher:
“Kingman Mayor Monica Gates accused him (Mr. Beecher) of working short days and ruling with “an iron fist.” He was fired after the council learned that he had signed a $28,000 severance agreement with the city’s economic director without consulting them.” (Thank you Patriot Ledger, Dec. 3, 2008)
Sign a SEVERANCE AGREEMENT behind the backs of the elected officials of Kingman Arizona? Why, didn’t Paul Beecher do the same thing in Dover New Hampshire when he was City Manager here?
Answer: Yes he did! A suit brought by a single taxpayer, Ed Bleiler, of Dover about that secret pay and benefits case is still in court and will be heard in January.
Mr. Beecher pulled the same, behind the backs of the elected officials contract scheme, regarding a whisker less than one million dollar street light contract in Kansas City, before he escaped from that job and landed in Dover, NH.
And now he is appealing to Hingham Ma., gunning for another no heavy lifting job in the public sector as their Town Administrator.
But as luck and Google would have it, The Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers spotted the news article about Paul Beecher in the Boston Globe. A few quick calls to our pals, Citizens for Limited Taxation in Ma., Mr. Bleiler in Dover, some elected officials representing Hingham, Kingman Arizona, a newspaper or two, and what do you know, the odds against Paul Beecher being able to sign some juicy off budget deals with fresh faces in his newly selected victim community are pretty slim.
Now for a teaching moment:
The reason public scam artists like Paul Beecher sign secret pay/benefits deals with chosen employees or contractors in the municipality or school they work in is because it BUYS, with taxpayer dollars, blind obedience from the beneficiaries. It is that simple and very effective.
This trick is what convicted Town Clerk Rosie McNamara did in the late 90’s with $2.4 million in misappropriated funds in Ashland NH. She “loaned” through a pay advance, $20,000.00 to the police chief so he could buy a home.
I caught case of it in Deering when I was a selectman here. Our selectman’s secretary slipped $1,500.00 more into the road agent’s credit union account and $350.00 more in our police chief’s account than came out of their checks.
Former SAU #34 Superintendent Leo Corriveau signed off on a $46,000.00 grant that disappeared into the NH Federation of Teachers accounts without a trace. Top officials of that gang all retired abruptly, soon after.
If you look at news reports now at Northwood’s SAU #44 you will see that the School Superintendent is in trouble for skimming grant money from the school budget to pay certain teachers a few extra bucks without school board knowledge then hid the audit.
Welcome to “Municipal Empire Building 101”.
I hope, and have good reason to believe, Hingham Ma. has dodged the “Beecher Bullet” this time. And I guarantee Mr. Beecher will be out again on Dec. 5 looking for a new municipality to scam.
For taxpayers who want accountability from their municipality, this is how it is, this is how it works. It takes constant vigilance and a combined effort with others who have done this before if you want to be successful.