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Sheriff to Resign After Winning Re-Election Rather Than Take Pension

Boston Globe via YellowBrix

November 22, 2010

BOSTON—Middlesex County Sheriff James V. DiPaola says he will resign in January, two months after winning re-election, rather than take a pension in addition to his salary.

The 57-year-old DiPaola filed retirement papers in October. He was able to take advantage of state pension law that allows retirees to run for paid elective office without losing their pensions.

DiPaola, a Democrat, could have accepted an annual pension of $98,500 in addition to his sheriff’s pay of $123,000 next year. He told The Boston Globe he could not in good conscience accept both, even though it’s legal.

Gov. Deval Patrick, who criticized DiPaola’s initial plan, now praises him for resigning.

Elected officials who collect pensions have almost always retired for some time before seeking office.

In DiPaola’s Own Words:

I write today to make a statement about my retirement and my reelection. First of all I want to thank all of my supporters that assisted in reelecting me the sheriff of Middlesex. I must admit I had reservations about running for another term. I have been a public servant for 36 years since 1974. As I pondered my decision it was brought to my attention that I would be eligible for retirement and if reelected eligible for the salary of sheriff.

It must be pointed out that if I retired and someone else was the sheriff there would be no cost savings. I made a black and white decision based on finances instead of my moral compass to run for reelection and to apply for retirement.

Once this decision was made public and I discussed it with Globe reporter Sean Murphy my first reaction was to defend the law. Sean made a statement to me which really hit home. He said, “You know Sheriff if you do this it will be your legacy and not any good you have done.’’ I realized then that he was right. Being an elected official is about public service and not always the best financial deal. Shortly after my discussion with Sean I decided that I would not continue my original course.

So, I want to announce that I will not be accepting the salary for sheriff. I also want to announce that on Jan. 6, 2011, I will resign my position as Middlesex sheriff. This will allow Governor Deval Patrick an opportunity to appoint someone to the office. This decision, I thought, would be a difficult one. Well, it is not. Today I want to thank Sean Murphy of The Boston Globe for reminding me of all the reasons that I served in public service for 36 years and assisting me in making this decision. Thank you and I ask for your understanding and support.

— James V. DiPaola

  • 50_bkemblem_sq90_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Stand up guy. Congrats

  • Steve_mcqueen_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    If the Sheriff is doing this as a matter of conscience I totally agree with his actions. "HOWEVER IN THIS STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS I HAVE NEVER IN MY 63 YEARS HERE SEEN ONE SINGLE ELECTED OFFICIAL DO ANYTHING FOR EITHER ETHICAL OR MORAL REASONING". Elected Officials sometimes get a "HEADS UP" for something in the works that will lead to their demise. I will reserve my accolades of his actions pending any future developments. Most recently we just had a Disability Retired State Trooper ( over 100,000.00 Pension) run for a Sheriffs job @ over 100,000.00 per year . He went out on the "Heart Law" as unfit for duty , however elected officials are not required to take any physical. "EVERYTHING IN MASS. IS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED" , second only to New York!!!!!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    If all this is true. More power to you !

  • Pl_avatar_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I don't want to judge this guy without all the facts, but I agree there's a little smell here. The losers, as usual, are the voters who elected him. Now they have no say in who takes the job, and their votes count for nothing. If the government is going to have to pay the salary to someone, what is the benefit of this to anybody, except the next appointee who gets handed the job?

  • Img_0103_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    "Bump" Robocop33

  • Img_0103_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    A REAL COP..!!! And man of goodwill....Bless him Lord in all that he does.

  • Fake_sunset_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    bump grant319

  • 711022_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    That's good money, downside is that they're probably losing a good sheriff

  • My_kids_027_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I agree with just about every statement that has been made, but regardless of the fact he showed everyone that even though he is an elected official he knows how to go out with a little class.

  • Pug_max600_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    There is more to this story. The Gov will be making some appointments in the new year. I wonder where Sheriff James V. DiPaola is on the list? Those politicians think of everything...........

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    I agree with HeySarge... there is more to this that won't be said.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I think theres a lot more to this and it will never be said.....

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    This should have been thought out more before he decided to run for re-election. Maybe the Sheriff can pull back his retirement papers and put it on hold. Maybe he can collect the pension and be Sheriff for a salary of 1.00 a year. Now the voters and department get stuck with someone the Governor will appoint. Sorry I think it stinks.

  • 1979_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    mz66, I can understand what you are saying. At first he thought he would be saving the County money because they were double paying him but quickly realized that they would still be paying for the Sheriff either way. He is just the type of man that does not believe you should take advantage of circumstances, even if they were not of your doing. I am not sure if he would lose his pension had he turned it down to serve but it would seem like it was possible so he had to follow his moral compass I guess. Maybe he is still hoping that they will modify the law so he can take one or the other without losing anything.

  • Mr-natural_1__max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I don't get it. He must have had some other reasons for resigning. The ethical question of the pension doesn't supercede the circumvention of the will of the people--who elected him to serve as Sheriff. Now they'll get an appointee--is that so much better?

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