(Facebook.com/Massachusetts State Police)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- In just about every profession, there are certain requirements that come with the job.
Sometimes, they are simple mandates. For doctors, it’s first, do no harm. For restaurant workers, it’s wash your hands after you use the restroom.
In my line of work, you learn quickly that with the privilege of being paid to give your opinion comes the expectation that you will be criticized for it, and you’d better be ready to grin and bear it.
And for public employees paid with tax dollars, it’s the knowledge that your salary – along with much of the work you do - is a matter of public record.
This seems to be a difficult concept for some of our public servants to comprehend. For many years Massachusetts has had one of the nation’s weakest, most loophole-ridden public records laws, and generations of public workers have grown adept at ignoring their obligation.
The latest example is the State Police troop at Logan Airport and the Massachusetts Port Authority, which handles their payroll. The Globe exposed the fact that since 2010 neither agency has publicly listed the wages paid to the 140 troopers there, and lo and behold, it turns out to be one of the fattest payrolls in the state, larded with huge overtime earnings.
Even Governor Baker, who has not always been the most energetic advocate of public record transparency, admits the concealment of those records was “clearly deliberate,” and he wants an explanation.
So do we, governor, followed by strong action. Because that’s our money, and hiding how it’s spent is an outrageous breach of the law and the public’s trust.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.
Listen to Jon's commentary: