Massachusetts Cop Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Terror cash wasted on home movies: Funds used to video statie graduation ceremony
By Jack Meyers
Thursday, September 2, 2004 - BOSTON HERALD

State officials spent more than $14,000 in anti-terrorism funds to videotape the August 2002 graduation ceremonies for 122 new State Police troopers, according to public records.

Thousands of dollars more from a state anti-terrorism account was spent on a consultant to manage the event, buy decorations, hire musicians and distribute copies of the video to graduates, records show.

Using terrorism funds like this ``would certainly tend to make people cynical . . . if people who are supposed to be protecting us from terrorism are going on a spending spree,'' said Benjamin Friedman, a Ph.D. candidate at MIT who has studied Homeland Security spending.

Thomas Kiley, the lawyer for James Jajuga, who was secretary of public safety in 2002, said Jajuga strongly defends the expenditures.

``It's the first post-9/11 class and the training of that class focused on anti-terrorism,'' said Kiley. The graduation ceremony was a ``highly visible law enforcement event,'' he said.

Videotaping and running the festivities were paid out of the State Anti-Terrorism Unified Response Network, or SATURN, account.

Jajuga, a former trooper and state senator, created SATURN and billed it as ``the Commonwealth's First Line of Defense'' and its mission was ``to improve the readiness of the cities, towns and fire districts of the Commonwealth to manage incidents resulting from terrorist attacks.''

Jajuga was appointed secretary of public safety by acting Gov. Jane Swift in September 2001 and ousted by Gov. Mitt Romney [related, bio] early in 2003. Controversies over the use of federal grant money during his tenure have sparked a federal probe.

The Rendon Group, a public relations and communications firm, was paid $14,390 to videotape the graduation ceremonies and make 200 copies of the tape.

Amy Dominici, the consultant who managed the event, said she hired the Rendon Group without soliciting bids. She said each graduate was given a copy of the tape and some were sent to soldiers overseas.

Dominici billed the state for planning and running the event but the amount could not be determined yesterday. She submitted two invoices totaling $36,250 that covered organizing the graduation as well as other functions, but did not provide a breakdown of the time or costs.

The Herald reported earlier this year that more than one-third of SATURN funds were devoted to advertising, media consulting and public events rather than security efforts. The Herald also reported Jajuga used $17,000 in SATURN funds to buy a plasma screen television for his Beacon Hill office.

The current secretary of public safety, Edward A. Flynn, has called the SATURN program a ``glorified e-mail system'' and has completely overhauled the program.
 

·
Czar of Cyncism and Satire
Joined
·
2,070 Posts
Wow,

I only thought the 'LECS were the ones who mis-spent this money. At least they have a couple of "Fun Busses" to show for it. I'd rather see a "Fun Bus" trotted out at a Pats game than to see a VCR tape just rot on some guys shelf.

"Thousands of dollars more from a state anti-terrorism account was spent on a consultant to manage the event, buy decorations, hire musicians and distribute copies of the video to graduates, records show. "

I guess those French & Electric Blue colored cre' paper & balloons at iParty don't come cheap! Why couldn't they get the bagpipers to wail away on those dead cats instead of hiring a band? I guess "Murph & The Milktones" of the Blues Brothers fame was booked solid at the Holiday Inn that week.
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess one should not throw rocks when they live in a glass house. All those attacks on NEMLEC and other LECs by the SP and now this. At least NEMLEC used the money to equip their members with workout gear with their respective logos for their training.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
The graduation was scheduled for the Mullen's Center at UMass Amherst (a State building requiring minimal funds) and the Secretary of Public Safety demanded that the venue be changed to the Worcester Centrum Centre ( a private venue costing significantly more to rent and plan). This was done despite the pleading by MSP to keep the graduation at the Mullen's center like it had for the past three classes. Knowing this info I question who's decision it was to use this money to pay for all of the extras for the graduation.
:?
 

·
Retired Fed, Active Special
Joined
·
8,803 Posts
Don't ask....................

As usual people have already painted the entire MSP rank and file guilty for something the Pubic Safety Admin did. Oh boy this certainly ends the "duplication of services" and "cost vs. benefit" arguements in regards to LEC $$$$ funding.
:roll:

Try again boys
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
397 Posts
Gotta feel bad for the poor trooper who had his picture attached to the story. I read it the other day in the Herald, at first glance one would connect guilt ( like it was mentioned above) to the Rank-n-File. thy should of had the picture of the one who made the choice to use the money, not a Trooper. But Hey, that's the media for you, Pictures of Cops sell papers!
 

·
Grim reaper
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
There was a huge push to have the ceremony held in Worcester. I wholeheartedly agree that if someone on the MSP misused SATURN funds then hold them accountable! Payback the money, investigate who did it, take action. I don't know much about this situation at all. The only possible response I can see being made by those in charge is that the class was paid for by Post 9/11 homeland security funding. I know that that class was touted as the first since 9/11. Its a weak argument but it might be how someone at EOPS justifies it. What the paper failed to mention though- SATURN is the brainchild of Jajuga (and I am mindful of where he used to work) and that as a politician, he controlled purse strings. Remember how he tried to promote over a half dozen people to "reach" someone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
MSP is not EOPS, EOPS Flynn the anti-union basher that he is (yes he tried to have the Chelsea Union President arrested) or any Sect. can and did use that money for anything they wanted against the wishes of the MSP.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top