By Matt Murphy
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 15, 2012….After turning down a position as interim director of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission following public and legislative backlash over past allegations of sexual abuse, C. Stanley McGee resigned on Friday from the Patrick administration.
McGee’s interim appointment came under fire due to four-year-old allegations that he sexually abused a teenage boy in Florida in December 2007. Florida prosecutors investigated the claims and determined there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges.
Despite Gov. Deval Patrick standing up for his veteran economic development advisor, McGee never returned to work after formally declining the offer from the Gaming Commission on May 9, according to an official, taking an extended leave that culminated Friday in his departure.
“Stan McGee has decided to resign from his position as Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning. Stan was a valuable member of the Administration, working on key initiatives such as the Life Sciences Initiative, our MassBroadband 123 effort and the Expanding Gaming Act, and we thank him for his incredible service to the Administration,” Jason Lefferts, spokesman for the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, said in a statement.
In his position as an assistant secretary for economic development policy in the administration, McGee earned $120,000 a year. His resignation is effectively immediately, and he is not owed any past vacation or unused sick pay, an administration official said.
“We will miss Stan’s intelligence, wisdom and dedication, and wish him nothing but the best as he moves forward in his life and career,” Lefferts said.
Patrick in May told reporters that he would welcome McGee back to his administration after the Gaming Commission job did not work out, rebuffing calls from child safety advocates to place McGee on administrative leave in order to further investigate a four-year-old allegation of child sex abuse.
“The charges that were made in Florida against Stan were serious. They were investigated by the Florida authorities. There were no charges, and he and anyone else under those circumstances should be entitled to resume their life. He is a very, very strong, very able contributing member of our team and I hope he’ll come back,” Patrick said at the time.
An administration official said the decision to resign was made by McGee.
The issue of the charges against McGee came up during the May 1 meeting of the commission when chairman Stephen Crosby presented the panel with his recommendation to hire McGee. Crosby said he was not aware of the charges before McGee brought them to his attention because McGee was aware that it could be a politically sensitive issue.
In describing the allegation to his fellow commissioners, Crosby said McGee went through “this horrendous experience of being accused of a sexual harassment charge several years ago in Florida.” He said the complaint had been investigated “six ways from Sunday” by Florida prosecutors who opted against bringing formal charges.
“For my money, there is nothing to this. To hold it against him in any way would not be appropriate,” Crosby said, according to minutes of the May 1 meeting.
The commission, however, came under almost immediate scrutiny for not performing adequate background checks on McGee, and Rep. Daniel Winslow (R-Norfolk) took the unusual step of hiring a private investigator to look into the allegations against McGee and report back to the Gaming Commission and Gov. Deval Patrick. Winslow later told his investigator to “stand down” after McGee declined the offer.
McGee was accused in January 2008 of performing sex acts on a 15-year-old boy while in Florida the month prior. After being placed on leave from his job with the Patrick administration, Florida prosecutors declined to press charges in March 2008, citing a lack of “sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
McGee subsequently settled a civil claim filed by the boy’s family outside of court for an undisclosed amount of money and was cleared by the Patrick administration to return to his state position.