June 2, 2016
A story ran today in the Boston Herald regarding my disability pension from the MBTA Police.
As a candidate for Governor’s Council who is pledging to bring transparency and accountability to our public institutions, I want to fully disclose my intentions and directly answer any questions that are on the minds of residents.
Below is a Q&A-style response to the highlights of the Boston Herald story. (My responses to these questions were shared with Mr. Carr, but did not appear in the published story).
Q: Do you collect an MBTA police pension? Why?
A: Yes – After 13 years as a decorated Police Sergeant, I was forced into retirement after suffering a major asthma attack during the pursuit of a suspect.
In fact, it may come as no surprise that my annual pension was mis-reported by the Herald. It is $24,000 per year.
The MBTA was forced to disqualify me from being a police officer based on the medical advice of my doctor. Growing up in the North End of Boston in the 1960’s and 1970’s, it wasn’t a time when there were very strict environmental standards on carbon emissions. While serving in the MBTA through the 1980’s, the onset of asthma resulted in my discharge from a job that I loved because I could no longer perform the duties incumbent upon a police officer.
However, I would also like to say that since retiring from the police force, I am incredibly proud to have been instrumental in helping to solve a sexual assault case that had gone cold over many years. Initially responding to the call in the 1980’s, I have never forgotten the victim or the description of the assailant. When an unrelated case developed a lead with a similar description, I initiated a follow-up to the investigation which finally led to the arrest of the perpetrator nearly 20 years after the crime was committed.
Q: How do you respond to the accusation of ‘double dipping’?
A: This just demonstrates the desperation of my Terry Kennedy’s campaign. If I’m elected to the Governor’s Council, I will not return to state service because, under the law, collecting two state salaries at the same time is strictly prohibited. For the incumbent to be unaware of that, speaks volumes about how poorly our residents are being served. In fact, I have promised to donate 25% of my Governor’s Council salary to local charities – a pledge the other side doesn’t want to make.
This is just another example of an entrenched incumbent willing to say or do anything to stay in office. That’s not the type of person residents want representing them. A Governor’s Councillor should be a champion for transparency and someone who has made a career out of solving problems, even during their retirement.
Q: Why does the Herald mention a ‘third state job’?
A: This is a complete mystery to me. I don’t know anyone who has ever held 3 state jobs, and it’s strictly forbidden by state law. If I am elected to the Governor’s Council, that’s the job I will dedicate myself to full-time. That is what our community deserves.
Q: Where are these accusations coming from?
A: We all know it’s an election year and no one likes it when incumbents resort to acts of desperation to keep their jobs. Residents aren’t going to be fooled because they know this mudslinging is coming directly from my opponent, who is willing to say anything to get elected. For an elected official to infer that honest people are willing to violate the law is a new low in Massachusetts politics.
Q: Why are you running for Governor’s Council?
A: I am the only candidate in this race that has recognized and pledged to do everything in my power to fight the opioid addiction crisis, protect our seniors and run a transparent campaign. I’m proud of my career as a devoted Police Officer and want to bring that same dedication to fix a broken judicial system that too often wants to punish our citizens and ignore solutions that will help support their recovery.
Q: Do you have anything to say about this story that wasn’t covered by the Herald?
A: It should be no surprise to anyone that Terry Kennedy is afraid to run against me given his abysmal record on the Governor’s Council. You typically see someone try to drive a race into the gutter right before the election, but to see him start throwing mud this early, just shows residents how scared he is and how little he has done to deserve his seat. This sad attempt to try to drum up a story is just further evidence of what everyone already knows – that Terry Kennedy is the wrong person for the job.
We need a Governor’s Councillor who is not going to engage in these underhanded tactics and instead, spend every waking moment reforming our judicial system to help fight the opioid epidemic and stop financial predators from targeting our senior citizens. So far, my opponent has done nothing about these critical issues and it comes as no surprise that he’s desperately trying to conjure up a distraction.
Stephen Borelli is a Democratic candidate for Governor’s Council and a proud former Police Officer.