Senator Marian Walsh today withdrew from consideration for the job at HEFA that had caused Governor Deval Patrick so much political heartburn. From the State House News Service:
Sen. Marian Walsh, standing next to Gov. Deval Patrick outside his office, announced Tuesday afternoon that she has withdrawn her name from consideration for a high-paying post at the Health and Education Facilities Authority. The HEFA board had voted to hire Walsh, a Patrick political supporter, to fill a long vacant assistant director’s post at a salary of $175,000. The move stirred public outrage and Walsh recently volunteered to take a $120,000 salary, a move that failed to quash sentiment against the hiring. Critics questioned her qualifications for the job, which was announced while Patrick was vacationing in Jamaica. The Boston Globe over the weekend published reports that Patrick administration officials had worked behind the scenes to engineer the Walsh appointment, moves that the governor’s opponents said were at odds with his campaign promises to clean up Beacon Hill. In withdrawing, Walsh said, “I feel that I have become the issue.” Walsh said she called Patrick chief of staff Doug Rubin Monday evening to announce her intentions.
It is a wise move for the Governor, and one that will help him extricate himself from this ongoing distraction. In this difficult economic climate the move was just not defensible, and the Globe releasing those internal emails provided the nails in this appointments coffin.