LYNN – A decade ago the Lynn City Council took an obscure vote that allowed Linda Bassett to apply six years of unpaid library trustee service to her government pension. The benefit was extraordinary, and not just because it allowed Bassett to boost her pension by thousands of dollars for working as a community volunteer.
The Globe last week detailed how Timothy A. Bassett, a 61-year-old former Democratic state representative and former Essex treasurer, benefited greatly from a special pension provision pushed by former House speaker Thomas M. Finneran, also a Democrat, and the Legislature. The carefully tailored provision, which did not mention Bassett by name, permitted him to collect his $41,000-a-year state pension even while working full time as the Essex Regional Retirement Board chairman and executive director, a job that currently pays him an estimated $123,000 a year.
His wife, Linda, 60, currently collects $26,000 a year in pension benefits, even while continuing to work part time as a cooking teacher at North Shore Community College in Danvers, a position that pays her nearly $20,000 a year. About $5,500 of her pension is the result of her six years of volunteer service as a Lynn library trustee
Harriett L. Stanley, a West Newbury state representative who handled the matter, told the Globe this month that she inserted the amendment because Finneran had told her in 1999 to “take care of Timmy Bassett.”