Mahoney submits FOIA request for city payroll, overtime records

QUINCY— Mayoral candidate Anne Mahoney submitted two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the city of Quincy today, seeking access to city payroll and overtime records since Mayor Thomas Koch became mayor in 2008.

Mahoney said she submitted the FOIA requests after hearing from numerous residents concerned about Koch’s record of awarding jobs, city contracts and preferential treatment to friends, family members and political cronies. Koch’s recent appointment of former Ward 2 Councilor Daniel Raymondi to a $110,000 year position as DPW commissioner has prompted voter outrage, she said, as has last week’s ruling by the Civil Service Commission vacating Koch’s appointment of friend and political supporter Joseph Barron as fire chief.

“When it comes to Tom Koch and cronyism, it seems the Raymondi and Barron appointments may be just the tip of the iceberg,” Mahoney said. “Numerous residents have asked me to investigate charges that, if true, would show a deep-rooted pattern by Tom Koch of putting the financial interests of his family and friends ahead of the taxpayers who are footing the bill for his nepotism and patronage.”

In particular, Mahoney said, some voters are concerned with the amount of overtime pay being awarded to Koch’s brother, Joseph Koch, who is employed as a general foreman/tree warden in the Park Department. According to city payroll records for 2007 – the last year for which records are publicly available – Joseph Koch’s base salary was $57,565.04. With overtime, however, Koch increased his base pay by 56 percent that year, taking home $89,951.85.

Mahoney said residents reported seeing Joseph Koch working on the track at Faxon Field over the summer – work that began after the School Committee, which has legal authority over the field, voted against putting the track there. On Sep. 2, a Norfolk Superior Court judge found that Koch overstepped his authority by beginning work on the track at Faxon after the School Committee voted against it.

“It’s bad enough that Tom Koch wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on work that should never have been done in the first place,” Mahoney said. “But if his brother was racking up overtime on that project, that takes the Koch administration’s patronage and cronyism to a whole new level that is simply unacceptable.”

In addition to the payroll and overtime records, Mahoney also requested all records and correspondence regarding Woodward & Curran, an engineering firm that has received city contracts and which employs the son of City Clerk Joseph Shea.

“In these challenging economic times, Quincy can’t afford to be handing out six-figure jobs and awarding large contracts to all of Tom Koch’s political allies and their assorted friends and family members,” Mahoney said. “As mayor, I will adopt new hiring policies that prohibit nepotism and political cronyism.”

She also pledged to publicly post all available city positions and make city payroll records available.

“The city’s payroll records used to be available publicly – right up until Tom Koch became mayor,” Mahoney said. “It shouldn’t take a Freedom of Information Act request to force the Koch administration to release this information. The citizens of Quincy have a right to know how Tom Koch is spending their money, and more specifically, who is benefiting financially from his cronyism.”

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