Flashback: In 2007 Patrick Adminstration Made MassHousing Power Play

In light of the recent allegations of Tim Murray using his position to get jobs for his political allies, it is worth remembering that in the fall of 2007 the Patrick Administration tried a hostile takeover of the MassHousing Board. The following is a 2007 brief from State House News Service.


Patrick administration officials are seeking to take control of the panel that oversees the independent state agency charged with creating and preserving affordable housing, going so far as to call a board member’s boss to get his resignation, according to the board member. Michael Nickley, senior vice president at Rockland Trust and a member of MassHousing’s seven-member board of directors, said a top Patrick aide, Undersecretary Tina Brooks, lobbied his president and CEO, after he refused to resign. “I believe her acts were unconscionable,” Nickley said in a phone interview, noting that Rockland Trust is a state-chartered institution and comes under the state Division of Banks. His boss, Christopher Oddleifson, supports him, he said. Nickley, who has been on the board for over six years and whose term expires next September, said he has sent a letter to her boss, Gov. Deval Patrick, asking for “corrective action.” Brooks had told him that the governor has a “housing agenda and the governor wanted to install a team that supports that agenda,” he said. WBZTV.com reported Wednesday that Brooks also asked Elena Fernandez, who works with IBM Lotus Software, to resign, but Fernandez also resisted. Patrick aides and Fernandez did not return phone calls seeking comment. The moves come as the Patrick administration considers revisions to the Chapter 40B statute on affordable housing for cities and towns. The MassHousing Board of Directors, which includes Patrick budget chief Leslie Kirwan, meets on Nov. 13 at 2 pm at One Beacon Street.

It seems this administration is fond of playing politics with this supposedly independent quasi-public agency.

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