Former House speaker Thomas Finneran denied state pension due to federal conviction

The state Retirement Board voted today that Thomas M. Finneran, the former House speaker who pleaded guilty to obstructing justice in 2007, is not entitled to a government pension.

The board ruled that Finneran, who was speaker from 1996 to 2004, forfeited his pension rights because he was convicted of a criminal offense related to his public position.

Finneran pleaded guilty in US District Court to providing false testimony in a redistricting lawsuit.

In its unanimous vote today, the board endorsed the conclusions of a hearing officer who examined the prosecution of Finneran and state retirement law.

“The facts show that the the link between Mr. Finneran’s position and the offense for which he was convicted is both direct and clear,’’ the hearing officer wrote. “It is irrefutable that Mr. Finneran was acting in his official capacity when he took the actions that gave rise to this conviction.’’


Finneran, a former Democratic state representative from Mattapan, would have collected a pension of about $32,900 a year. Under the board’s ruling, Finneran will be able to recoup about $89,000 he contributed from his own pocket to the pension plan, but he is not entititled to $32,000 in accumulated interest.

Finneran’s lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

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