County Names "Suite Deal Six"

"Suite-Gate" continues to unfold for Assembly of Delegates...

Barnstable County Administrator Jack Yunits has named the six Assembly of Delegates members that benefited from the "Suite Deal" described in a rather good story published Saturday by the Cape Cod Times. 

This latest scandal to hit county government centers around six members of the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates and their clerk.  The seven attended a Massachusetts Municipal Association conference and opted for room upgrades at nearly double the discounted group rate. 

You can read the Times story for all the sordid details of miscommunication and perhaps even a bold-faced lie about the "club level" rooms supposedly being on a "secure floor" that apparently doesn't exist at Sheraton Boston Hotel.

Below is a list of the Delegates who received the upgraded rooms.

Name Town # of Nights
Sue Moran* Falmouth* 2*
Mary Chaffee** Brewster 2
Edward Atwood Eastham 3
Brian O'Malley P-Town 2
Ron Bergstrom Chatham 3
John Ohman Dennis 3

The clerk of the Assembly, Janice O'Connell, also received an upgraded room for three nights.

It should be noted that the Delegates are not accused of doing anything unethical or illegal.  The County's policy is rather haphazard on this type of expense and is currently under review.  Rather, the optics of the "Suite Deal" are very bad at a time when the County is struggling with its budget and may well be forced to lay off employees.  As we asked in our Sunday editorial, how can these Assembly members face employees who may lose their jobs while Delegates and staff luxuriate in upgraded hotel rooms?

It was also noted in the Times story that clerk Janice O'Connell represented that the upgraded rooms were on a "secure floor" of the Sheraton Boston, while the hotel represented to the Times reporter that no such secure floors existed at the hotel.

Prior to receiving this information from the County Administrator, Cape Cod Today sent an email to the entire assembly to ascertain who was and was not involved in "Suite-Gate".  We also invited those involved to tell us whether or not they will reimburse the county for the upgrade charge for their room.  

No Delegate has responded, thus far.

*An email from County Administrator Jack Yunits at 3:19 p.m. Monday reported that delegate Sue Moran canceled her reservation and that no charge was made to the county.

**On April 10, 2018, Mr. Yunits reported that Mary Chaffee did not attend the conference and the county received a refund for her room.  See the related content link below for full story.

 


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