CHA Housing Report Released; Excessive Pay for Receiver?

The first monthly report released by Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) receiver Judy Weber has raised some eyebrows in that she has billed the state more than $20,000 for one month’s worth of work.

In a case where the former executive director, Michael McLaughlin was ousted for having an excessive salary of $360,000 per year, Weber’s one-month total comes close to rivaling the ousted director.

Though nothing about Weber’s bill is criminal – and McLaughlin is under investigation for criminal activity in association with his salary – some are wondering about the wisdom of such a paycheck for the CHA clean up effort.

Weber was appointed as the CHA receiver by the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) on Nov. 21st of last year, and acts as a consultant to the court.

The monthly report was presented to the SJC late last week, and it contained a plethora of information. However, buried at the bottom was a bill for Weber’s services. It amounted to $22,894 in salary at a rate of $165 per hour. It also included $122 in expenses. The grand total for her work in December came to $23,016.

A spokesman for the SJC declined to comment on the bill this week, saying it would be inappropriate to discuss what is before only one justice of the court.

No one else was listed as a possible contact to discuss the matter.

The bill lists 138.75 billable hours at a rate of $165 per hour – as stated above. It covers work performed between Nov. 21 and Dec. 30 and is to be paid by the SJC. She averaged about 28 hours per week on the job.

At least eight of the items on the bill included phone calls/e-mails with Boston Globe reporters and fulfilling records requests for those reporters.

Stretched out for a full 12 months, Weber’s salary for an entire year would be $276,000 – or about $80,000 less per year than McLaughlin made.

It is assumed that she will receive the same pay rate throughout her tenure as the receiver. She is scheduled to submit a report to the SJC every month, and that report will likely contain a bill for services each month as well.

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