Essex (Mass.) Regional Retirement Board voted March 29 to remove Timothy A. Bassett as executive director, according to Joseph E. Connarton, executive director of the Massachusetts Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission, which oversees public plans in the state.
That 3-1 vote, with Mr. Bassett dissenting, followed the March 18 release of a PERAC audit that concluded that the $220.9 million system's “financial records are not being maintained and the management functions are not being performed in conformity with the standards established by PERAC.”
Mr. Connarton said Mr. Bassett remains executive director of the board pending a special meeting of the Essex board scheduled for April 12 to finalize the March 29 decision. Under the terms of Mr. Bassett's contract, he is allowed to seek arbitration. Mr. Connarton said it's unclear how the Essex board will proceed.
Glenn Morse, Essex board secretary, didn't immediately respond to messages left for comment, and Mr. Bassett didn't respond to messages left on his office phone by press time.
Moves by PERAC to replace Mr. Bassett as chairman of the board have been blocked by a court injunction, Mr. Connarton said. While doing the audit, PERAC officials discovered that the board had failed to properly elect a chairman, as required, within 30 days of the expiration of the previous incumbent's term. In such cases, “the appointing authority comes to us,” he said. Following a search process, PERAC selected Andrew Maylor, town administrator of Swampscott, Mass., to fill the role, Mr. Connarton said.
With the Essex board contesting those moves, a Middlesex Superior Court judge heard arguments from both sides on March 11, said Mr. Connarton, who declined to predict when the matter could be resolved.