Yesterday, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environment Affairs Matt Beaton told Herald Radio that Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration took action against two top officials at the Department of Conservation and Recreation as soon as it learned about an illegal July 3rd party held at the Back Bay home of Republican National Committeeman Ron Kaufman.
It appears, however, that a small army of top Baker aides knew about the party in advance, and some of them, including Beaton, may have attended.
Following an investigative report by WCVB, DCR Commissioner Leo Roy and Deputy Commissioner Matthew Sisk admitted that they directed state employees to organize the party and shuttle guests between the Beacon Street home and the Hatch Shell, where the Boston Pops were performing.
“The Baker-Polito Administration, when we found out about it happening and the details of the incident, took action, responded accordingly, put down appropriate punishment and brought it forward to the ethics committee to make sure, to allow them to do their job to make sure nothing more seriously was going on, or there were serious ethics violations that we were not aware of,”Beaton said yesterday on Herald Radio (at 5:21).
Today, State House News Service published a list of invitees to the illegal party obtained through a public records request. Beaton, along with his spokesperson and a cadre of Baker’s closest aides were on it.
Those top aides included Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore, Senior Advisor Tim Buckley, Communications Director Lizzy Guyton, Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Vallarelli, Press Secretary Billy Pittman, Director of Operations Dean Serpa and his deputy, Scott Conway and Director of Personnel and Administration Matt St. Hilaire.
To be clear, the list obtained by State House News Service is a list of those invited, not necessarily a list of those who attended. Still, with this many people aware of the party, and some number of them likely to have attended it, Beaton’s claim that the Baker Administration took action as soon as they heard about it seems dubious.