Gov. Baker says DCR is not a dumping ground for politically connected Republicans
Video shows top official using sirens on state SUV
Published 8:00 PM EDT Oct 03, 2016
BOSTON —Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is defending his administration’s hiring practices to 5 investigates after a Baker donor is forced to resign from his top position with the state.
Department Conservation Recreation Deputy Commissioner Matthew Sisk resigned on Friday, after video surfaced showing him using the lights and sirens on his state SUV to make his way through traffic in Boston on two different occasions.
“I thought it was incredibly bad judgment,” said Gov. Baker
But this wasn’t Sisk’s first lapse in judgment.
The state suspended Sisk and his former boss DCR Commissioner Leo Roy, in August for using state funds for a private July 3rd party.
Partygoers were driven in golf carts rented by the state to the VIP area at the Hatch Shell.
The party was held at a condo owned by Republican National Committeeman Ron Kaufman.
Sisk himself is on the Republican State Committee and has donated to Baker’s campaign.
“Are we going to be hearing about more bad apples in DCR?” asked 5 Investigates’ Mike Beaudet.
“Look I’ve known Matt Sisk for a long time and was appalled by what he did,” said Baker. “I certainly don’t think you’ll see anybody doing anything like that again.”
But 5 Investigates has been looking at some of DCR’s hires and found numerous ties to the Massachusetts Republican Party along with questionable backgrounds.
In addition to Sisk, at least four other past or present Republican State Committee members are employed at DCR, including Christine Cedrone, the community relations manager.
The Quincy attorney’s law license was suspended in 2014 over misusing client funds.
Cedrone says her political affiliation had nothing to do with her getting her job.
And then there’s Carol Sanchez, a certified public accountant and self-described Baker “friend” who helped on his campaign.
Sanchez was originally hired as DCR commissioner in April 2015, despite a drunk driving arrest just a few weeks earlier.
Sanchez admitted to sufficient facts and the case was continued without a finding.
She resigned in November, but says it had nothing to do with her arrest and insists she was qualified for the job.
“Is DCR a dumping ground for politically connected Republicans?” asked Beaudet.
“DCR is an organization that’s had a couple of unfortunate incidents. I consider DCR to be a terrific organization that does good work,” replied Bacommissioner, but didn’t hear back.