Eleven staff members of former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi have continued collecting state paychecks and health benefits even though DiMasi resigned under a cloud in January and they have no clearly defined responsibilities at the State House, state officials said.
Republicans and conservative watchdogs yesterday said paying former staff members who have no clear duties sends the wrong message to beleaguered taxpayers facing possible tax hikes, including a proposal to increase the gas tax, and service cuts.
Representative Lewis Evangelidis, a Republican from Holden, said lawmakers seem detached from real-world concerns of their constituents.
“People outside the building are really hurting right now,’ he said. “I’ve never seen people so insecure about their situation and the country as a whole. When they see . . . these types of abuses, it frustrates people. They say, ‘We’re tightening our belts and saving every penny, and look at the way they’re acting up there on Beacon Hill.’ We’re not living up to the standard that everyone else is.”