Jackson seeks ‘transparency’ in extortion case
City Councilor Tito Jackson talked about his race against Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” show yesterday:
Q: Talk to me about the decision to hold the trial in the extortion case of Mayor Marty Walsh’s aides in January. At one point it looked like it was going to be starting in October.
A: I think the mayor needs to come clean here and let the people of Boston know whether or not he has been to a grand jury or not. That is a critical component ... and that’s an important component of this election. People should have transparency. ... The other issue here that I take huge issue with, which shows fiscal irresponsibility, is that the two individuals who are, again, very nice gentlemen, are still getting paid, they’re still on city payroll while we’re cutting schools. They’re still on city payroll at a time where we actually have a rule for Boston police officers that if ... indicted they are actually on leave without pay. So the question is to the mayor’s office, are there two separ- ate standards? ... It is unacceptable that we continue to pay individuals who are federally indicted. And by the way, there’s Mass-achusetts state law that actually allows the mayor to put them on leave without pay without prejudicing the trial. So this is, again, unacceptable ... are men and women in blue on our police department who serve us and put their lives on the line on a daily basis ... not treated the same way as these two individ-uals?
Q: That is a question in terms of are there different rules for his own office employees than there are for the Boston police. Right?
A: And there are schools, there’s $11 million in cuts to the Boston Public Schools. One of the schools is getting cut over $200,000. The over $100,000 pay packages for each of these individuals who are still getting paid, also are still getting credit towards their pension, still getting benefits, all of those things at the same time as we’re cutting Boston Public Schools. Four of the Boston Public Schools will actually lose librarians. So the question is, where are our values in the city of Boston? ... I also want to note if these individuals are put on pay without leave, if they are exonerated they would get all of their back pay and credit towards their pension .... We all presume innocence, and that’s the right thing to do, but if that was not the case, the city of Boston ... would be out, now it’s probably about $250,000. Another six months, that’s probably another $120,000, right? That’s a lot of city money ... that is actually being paid out to individuals that are federally indicted and I think it’s wrong.