, Salem, MA

Local News

November 3, 2011

Pension panel chief to resign

With new job, Maylor must vacate chairman post

Andrew Maylor, the chairman who ushered in sweeping changes to the troubled Essex Regional Retirement Board, announced yesterday that he will resign from his post Dec. 1.

Maylor, Swampscott's town administrator, starts a new job as town manager in North Andover on Dec. 16. State law prohibits him from serving on the board in his new job because North Andover is a member of the retirement system.

Yesterday, Maylor said the state statute is the only reason for his resignation, which he called "bittersweet."

State law requires the board to fill vacancies within 30 days; Maylor's position as the board of directors' fifth member has been posted, and applications are due Nov. 22.

A state agency named Maylor board chairman in March 2010 to replace Timothy Bassett, who had served as both chairman and executive director of the retirement system. Bassett was fired after a damning audit report.

"I'm not sure what I expected when I applied to serve on the board," Maylor said. "I knew there were some issues, but I couldn't have imagined the issues were as deep as they were, (which) I discovered in the first 30 days.

"... It shook my thought about where government had come. With the progress we had made, to think that there were still bodies operating in this fashion was remarkably disappointing," Maylor said. "There was no subtlety in terms of figuring out what needed to be fixed. It was more (a question of) the breadth of what needed to be fixed."

The Essex County Regional Retirement System serves 19 towns and administers the pensions of 5,000 public employees.

The 2010 state audit cited the system for a long list of deficiencies, including poor record keeping, repeated violations of the Open Meeting Law and improper operating practices — from lavish expense accounts for board members to spending thousands of dollars on lawyers and consultants chosen without going through the public bidding process.

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