Thursday, 4:30 PM
Bulger pension rescinded
By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff
The state's highest court today revoked the $64,000-a-year pension of retired Boston Juvenile Court Clerk-Magistrate John P. Bulger, ruling that he forfeited the benefit when he admitted in 2003 to lying to a federal grand jury investigating the disappearance of his brother, the fugitive mobster James "Whitey'' Bulger.
In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court said Whitey Bulger's youngest brother violated the fundamental tenets of his oath of office when he committed perjury and obstruction of justice, even though his lawyers had argued he acted out of "family loyalty'' and that his misdeeds were unrelated to his official duties.
"The nature of Bulger's particular crimes cannot be separated from the nature of his particular office when what is at stake is the integrity of our judicial system,'' the court said, noting that Bulger's duties as clerk-magistrate was administering the oath to witnesses.
The decision reverses a September 2004 ruling by a Boston Municipal Court judge that reinstated the pension. That judge had said state retirement officials had no right to rescind the pension because Bulger's crimes had nothing to do with his job as clerk-magistrate.
The 67-year-old pleaded guilty to perjury and obstruction of justice in 2003 for lying to two federal grand juries. He admitted that he lied when he testified he had not heard from his brother since he fled in 1995.
John Bulger also admitting lying to a grand jury in 1996 when he said had no knowledge about a safe deposit box owned by his older brother.
The Associated Press contributed to this report