Martha Coakley and the Massachusetts Ethics Commission not only have the same address in Boston, but they are obviously sweethearts, as well.
The day after Coakley’s re-election as Attorney General, the Chairman of The Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care was informed that there would be no further action on the Coalition’s claim of a flagrant ethics violation by the AG.
The Coalition requested in August that the AG recuse herself from making any recommendation favoring the sale of the 6-hospital Caritas Christi Roman Catholic Health Care System to an entity of the controversial Cerberus venture capital fund. They received no response, so Aug. 25th they petitioned the Ethics Commission for a ruling.
“Caritas CEO Ralph de la Torre stands to benefit substantially by the sale, as he joins a $25 billion conglomerate” said Coalition Chairman R. T. Neary. “And not only had he and his wife donated the maximum ($4,800 each) to her failed bid for the U.S. Senate this year, but he also invited Caritas officials and others to a fundraiser in his home, and it garnered over $30,000 for her campaign fund. The Coakley conflict of interest with de la Torre is stark, transparent to the nth degree,” Neary added.
Meanwhile the Dept. of Public Health at their level never addressed the ethics violation, nor did Supreme Court Justice Francis X. Spina to whose attention it was also brought for his hearing on October 21. All the while the Ethics Commission was sitting on the request, claiming it was still in process because it had many “ramifications”. Since the beginning, the tracks have been greased at each stop to give the Attorney General her way, disregarding the 8 points raised by the Coalition throughout.
Earlier this year Common Cause, which claims to pursue ethical government, raised the same issue, but would not formally seek action on it. Bar Associations have also been silent. The Coalition questions whether they pick and choose depending on who is involved, rather than objectively subscribing to the higher principles they espouse.
“Beyond private groups, however, each of these agencies of government, is constituted to be acting as part of the checks and balances principle so vital in protecting the public interest.” stated Neary. “Instead we have witnessed total subservience to Attorney General Coakley’s aloof rejection of anyone’s questioning this blatant ethical violation. Just where can we find objectivity and justice in this Commonwealth? Certainly not at the Attorney General level,” he concluded.