This year, a local university president resigned from his job after being accused of excessive spending, a veteran journalist was suspended because of an unreliable source, and two actors parted ways with new roles (for very different reasons). Check out some of the biggest career shake-ups of the year.
A series of political changes in Mass.
The Massachusetts delegation saw major changes this year as a veteran US senator left for higher office and a series of vacancies followed. Late last year, John Kerry, who represented Massachusetts in the Senate for nearly three decades, was nominated by President Obama to replace outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. On Jan. 29, Kerry was confirmed by the US Senate by a vote of 94-3. With Kerry’s departure for the State Department, Massachusetts held its second special election in four years. A flurry of names were tossed around as possible Kerry successors, including Ben Affleck, former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, and Edward Kennedy Jr., son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy. In the end, Democratic Representative Ed Markey defeated Republican challenger Gabriel Gomez in a special election held on June 25.Markey’s election to US Senator opened up another vacancy and kicked off another special election in the Massachusetts 5th congressional district. The election was held on December 10, and Democrat Katherine Clark sailed to victory over Republican opponent Frank Addivinola.
Sea of change in Boston
In March, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced his plans to retire after two decades as Boston’s leader. Menino suffered a series of health problems that hindered his ability to keep up with a “Menino schedule’’ as he put it. With the news that Boston’s longest-serving mayor would step aside, a slew of candidates tossed their hats in the ring to replace him. As the election cycle progressed, two candidates – state Representative Martin Walsh and Boston City Councilor John Connolly – emerged from a field of 12 candidates. On Nov. 5, Walsh defeated Connolly with 52 percent of the vote to Connolly’s 48 percent.
A very public termination
During a conference call in August, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong fired an employee for taking this picture before an audience of 1,000 people. Armstrong later apologized to his staff, saying he “acted too quickly’’ and “learned a tremendous lesson.’’ Although he regretted how the issue was handled, Armstrong later said his decision was “justified’’ under the circumstances.
Westfield State chief retires amid spending scandal
In August, Westfield State Univeristy trustees released a report blasting then-president Evan Dobelle for excessive spending of university funds. Dobelle’s expenses included an $8,000 four-night stay at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, $4,000 for limousine rides, and over $800 in clothing expenses from Louis Boston. In total, Dobelle ran up over $200,000 on his university-related credit card.In November, Dobelle announced he would retire as university president saying, “this was not my chosen path at this particular time.’’ Dobelle has filed a lawsuit against Westfield State trustees and Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland for conspiring to ruin his reputation. Attorney General Martha Coakley has asked the a federal court to dismiss Dobelle’s lawsuit, citing insufficient facts and legal errors.
A holy shake-up
Earlier this year, the Catholic Church saw one of its biggest career shake-ups since the 15th century when Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement on Feb. 11, 2013, over his declining health. A month later, the papal conclave elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the new pope. Bergoglio took the papal name Francis.
Shortest talk show host career ever
Former “30 Rock’’ star Alec Baldwin had a brief stint as a talk show host on MSNBC this year. After debuting in October, “Up Late with Alec Baldwin’’ was cancelled after Baldwin was criticized for allegedly using an anti-gay slur during an exchange with reporters. MSNBC initially suspended the show and eventually canceled it and fired Baldwin.
CBS suspends Lara Logan
CBS suspended “60 Minutes’’ correspondent Lara Logan and her producer after an internal review found that her report on the US embassy attacks in Benghazi were based on an unreliable source. Logan’s report relied on testimony by a security official who allegedly told the program that he was at the scene during the embassy raid, an account that did not match what he told federal investigators.
Lt. Gov. Murray resigns
In May, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray resigned from his office to become president and CEO of the Worcester Chamber of Commerce. Murray was once considered a front-runner to become the next governor but questions over his ties to the disgraced former head of the Chelsea Housing Authority and a 2011 car crash seriously damaged his prospects of higher office. In his resignation, Murray denied those controversies influenced his decision.
GM’s new CEO
In December, General Motors picked product developement chief Mary Barra as its next CEO. Barra has more than 30 years of experience at GM and is the first woman to become the head of a major US car company.
Hunnam quits ‘50 Shades’ movie
In September, it was announced that “Sons of Anarchy’’ star Charlie Hunnam was cast as Christian Grey, the lead role in the big screen adaptation of “50 Shades of Grey.’’ The casting decision was got mixed reviews and on Oct. 12, Hunnam decided to walk away from the film citing conflicts with the “Sons of Anarchy’’ schedule.
Lantigua voted out
In November, a recount confirmed that embattled Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua was voted out of office. Lantigua conceded defeat to his opponent, Daniel Rivera. Lantingua was first elected mayor of Lawrence in 2009, but soon became a lighting rod for political scandals. Two of his associates pleaded guilty in June to corruption charges, he faced a recall vote, and was named in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley alleging that he violated campaign finance laws.
Harvard doctor nominated to US Surgeon General
On November 14, President Obama nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to the post of US surgeon general. If confirmed by the US Senate, Murthy will become the youngest surgeon general in US history.
Boston’s top cop steps down
In September, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis announced his plans to resign from the office he held since 2006. Davis drew praise for his leadership following the Boston Marathon bombings. He said he intends to teach part-time at Harvard.
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