PAYING ATTENTION! with Tom Duggan
was Absolutely Right on Padellaro Lawsuit
(editors note: please see
follow up column from Feb 08 here)
LAWENCE, MA - A
few years ago Assistant City Clerk
Jennifer Padellaro made allegations
against her (then) boss City Clerk James
McGravey. Among other things, she claimed
that McGravey was looking at porn on his
city computer and shared those sexual
images with her.
She claimed McGravey created a hostile
work environment and further claimed that
the issue was being covered up by members
of the Sullivan administration who were
friends and political allies of McGravey.
Strangely enough, Padellaro was so
emotionally distraught by having seen
naked pictures on a computer, and so
psychologically damaged by the
hostile work environment of
having to deal with McGraveys
friends in city hall every day, that she
ended up applying for McGraveys job
after he resigned in total disgrace.
Whether or not Jim McGravey was guilty of
sexual harassment or any of the other
allegations made against him is something
we will probably never know.
We know something happened of an
inappropriate nature in that office, but
what we dont know are the details.
Did Padellaro encourage him to behave
Did she participate in said behavior
until such time as other city hall
workers became aware of it and then threw
all the blame on him?
Did she willingly go along and use this
little piece of information to get favors
from McGravey and his political
friends in city hall?
Again we will never know. But there were
certainly enough public suspicions at the
time (long before Padellaro applied for
McGraveys vacant job) that Jennifer
Padellaro had set up McGravey because she
was next in line to be the City Clerk.
Why would a woman who was so emotionally
distressed by working in city hall with
the friends of her lecherous boss and so
psychologically damaged by seeing a naked
picture even WANT to be elevated to city
clerk where she would have to deal
one-on-one with these very same
individuals she claimed made her
Then, and only then, when City Council
President Patrick Blanchette refused to
hire her or even recommend her for the
city Clerks positions, did
Padellaro suddenly realize that her work
environment was unbearable. So unbearable
that she could no longer continue working
in city hall and needed to go out on
disability, being paid more than $600 per
week for staying home.
Besides getting a big fat paycheck every
week for doing nothing, Padellaro also
filed a Federal lawsuit against the city
claiming Blanchette and members of the
Sullivan administration retaliated
against her by not hiring her in the
midst of this whole fiasco.
At the time, Blanchette said that,
because it was her complaint that lead to
the job vacancy in the city clerks
office, it would be unwise to then
elevate her to that job, especially when
investigations were still going on
regarding the alleged incidents.
Now, I am no supporter of Patrick
Blanchette and I am certainly no defender
of the likes of Jim McGravey, but city
council president Patrick Blanchette
absolutely did the right thing in not
hiring Padellaro. It was both responsible
and in the best interest of the taxpayers
to seek a candidate for the job who was
unconnected to the controversy and
scandal that rocked city hall for more
than a month and still had the potential
of lawsuits; both by McGravey and by
other city employees in that office.
It is a disgrace that the taxpayers of
Lawrence have to foot the bill and pay
Padellaro nearly ¾ of a million dollars
(total) because she was so emotionally
damaged by the hostile environment in
city hall that she was applying for a job
that was, by all definitions, political.
It is even more of a disgrace that the
city settled this lawsuit at a time when
there is no money in the budget to pay
for it, tax hikes are being recommended,
water rate increases are being proposed,
city employees are being laid off, city
services are being reduced, and people
who want to work are being sent home for
lack of funds.
Tom Duggan is the president of
Valley Patriot, Inc., a former Lawrence
School Committeeman, and hosts the Paying
Attention! Radio Program on WCAP, 980AM,
every Saturday afternoon from noon-2pm.
You can email your comments to Tdugjr@aol.com
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(C) copyright, Valley Patriot, Inc., 2008