Yesterday was a bad day for Matt Amarello, Massachusetts’ Turnpike Authority Chairman. Not one, but two courts ruled against him. First, one said that the lawsuit brought by a couple of members for “freezing them out” of policy matters could continue. Then, another said that Governor Mitt Romney’s hearing about firing him (called for by Romney, who will also act as judge) could also go forward.
Today was worse.
An hour before Matt was to stand before Romney (or, rather, his grotesquely expensive lawyers, paid for by the people of Massachusetts) and argue he shouldn’t be fired, Matt finally read the writing on the wall (which has been spraypainted in Day-Glo colors for years now) and resigned.
He’s getting a good-bye kiss of six months’ severance and continued health insurance coverage, but the key point is: he’s gone.
Some are unhappy with this. They wanted him kicked out on his ass, stripped of his pension, and then maybe driven through the tunnel in a convertible until something falls on him and kills him. But here are the key advantages to giving him this deal:
1) He’s out of power, and can’t cause any more problems.
2) The cost of buying him out will most likely be cheaper than his ongoing legal expenses plus his salary until he would be forced out.
3) He’s out of power, and can’t cause any more problems.
4) By sustaining the fight as long as he did, he burned a LOT of his bridges — quite possibly all of them. This six months’ pay will most likely to have to last a long, long, long time.
5) He’s out of power, and can’t cause any more problems.
6) With him gone, Romney is now able to appoint a new chairman and USING the entrenched bureaucracy to find and fix the problems, not fight it.
7) Finally, he’s out of power, and can’t cause any more problems.
Amarello was never more than an aggravating factor. He made the problems worse with his endless denials, coverups, and corruption, but he didn’t create the problem and it won’t go away with his departure.
But it’s a hell of a good step in the right direction.
Enjoy those six months of money for nothing, Matt. You’re gonna have a lot of fun finding a comparable position with THIS mess on your resume’.