As he walks out of the State House today, Gov. Deval Patrick leaves taxpayers not just a big budget deficit and a broken health care website but an army of more than 50 public relations flacks costing millions, according to records obtained by the Herald.
The Patrick administration’s press and communications team is spread throughout the governor’s office, departments and agencies — some so obscure taxpayers may not even recognize them — whose primary job was to make the governor look good.
The PR team under the executive branch, which had been slashed in half by former Gov. Mitt Romney in 2003, has been beefed up again by Patrick during his eight-year tenure, according to payroll and other records reviewed by the Herald.
One of the quasi-public agencies created by Patrick, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, has a highly paid marketing and communications chief, Angus McQuilken, a Democrat who lost a state Senate race to Scott Brown 10 years ago. McQuilken is now doing just fine, thank you, earning $144,000 a year to promote Patrick’s life sciences agency.
The governor’s press office alone had a half-dozen staffers, including a staff photographer, the $111,000-a-year communications director Jesse Mermell and several deputies, records show.
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