Lawrence Massachusetts Director Of Anti-Poverty Agency Worked 15 Hours A Week For $144,000 A Year

LAWRENCE, MASSACHUSETTS – The AWOL boss for the city’s leading anti-poverty agency walked out the door with a $9,829.91 check after he quit Wednesday.

Former Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Executive Director Philip F. Laverriere Sr. received the money for his last days worked and unused vacation time. Thomas Schiavone, president of the agency’s board of directors, said Laverriere is not eligible for retiree health benefits because he resigned.

Laverriere, 85, left the agency four days after The Eagle-Tribune revealed he spent as few as 15 hours in the office a week, and earned as much as $144,000 a year. The rest of the work day, Laverriere was found in the Elks Clubs playing card games and video poker and indulging his taste for cigars.

The state Department of Housing and Community Development, which administers $29 million tax dollars to the agency, has brought in the Northeast Institute for Quality Community Action (NIQUA) to review “governance, management, and fiscal issues” at GLCAC. Representatives from NIQUA will be at the agency next week for two days to do an audit and talk to employees. They are expected to file a report on their findings with the state April 4

Schiavone said Laverriere is eligible to collect on the 403B retirement plan the agency offers — which is much like a 401K plan but for nonprofits. According to the agency’s employee handbook, GLCAC matches up 50 percent of an employee’s contribution up to a maximum of 3 percent of the person’s salary.

In the 2009 tax year, Laverriere received a $2,066 match in contributions from the agency.

Laverriere was head of the agency for 37 years. The agency has 310 employees and oversees an array of poverty programs including immigration assistance, heat subsidies, and child care.

Its $30 million budget is funded almost entirely through state and federal money. In the interim, Assistant Executive Director Charles LoPiano will oversee the agency.

Appeared Here

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