Big Dig megamismanager Michael P Lewis gets Turnpike golden handshake & RI transp sec
Who says crime doesn't pay. Michael P Lewis, 46, the Massachusetts Turnpike's Big Dig manager through serial scandals, multi-billion dollar cost overruns, shoddy construction, and a fatal ceiling collapse, 2000 to 2007 - the biggest public works management fiasco in America in modern times - the manager of this megamess is now on a Turnpike pension for life of $72,578 plus 80% health insurance, the Boston Globe reports. And that's regardless of whatever other income he manages to make.
Lewis also got to claim, falsely and without official contradiction until today, that he "retired." The Globe today turns up the news that he was told in a letter last Oct 22 from acting Turnpike CEO Mary Jane O'Meara that his job position was being abolished. He was fired.
Lewis' project management team was staffed by a joint venture of Bechtel and Parsons Brinckerhoff which in a civil settlement with the state and US governments admitted January 23 that it "failed to provide adequate services" and that "our performance did not meet our commitment to the public" and agreed to pay penalties of $407m - a record sum.
US attorney in charge of the case Michael Sullivan said that the joint venture team which was managed by Michael P Lewis for seven years "grossly failed to meet their obligations and responsibilities to the citizens of Massachusetts and the United States."
Not a peep though out of the US Government last month when the state of Rhode Island hires this same Michael P Lewis as its Secretary of Transportation.
You might hope the US Government would cut off US grant money to Rhode Island for as long as this man was running state transportation programs.
But it seems the grossest of incompetence is politely tolerated in these parts in what they call "public service". Not just tolerated, but rewarded with largesse.
No wonder the guy's smiling in his official RIDOT picture (left).