The report faulted the previous board for approving salary increases for McLaughlin “that were not reasonable in comparison” to other salaries. McLaughlin was hired in 2000 at a salary of less than $80,000, but enjoyed enough raises to more than quadruple his pay before resigning in 2011.
The audit also questions $225,894 in salaries and benefits paid to three McLaughlin underlings. Guyder said there was no documentation in the Chelsea Housing Authority providing a basis for the salaries paid to those three employees.
The Hurley O’Neill report covers only 2011, but, “We will discuss with HUD the use of a forensic accountant to review prior year expenses,” the report says.One Chelsea housing board member expressed deep concern about what might be revealed.
“Since the Housing Authority did not have sources of revenue to support the kind of inappropriately lavish spending on administrator salaries and benefits that we have seen, it raises questions in my mind about practices that must have gone on to support this obscene spending,” said Barbara Salisbury, a board member.
Sean Murphy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.