Former Mass. House Speaker Loses State Pension

Apr 5, 2017

Former Massachusetts House Speaker Tom Finneran will be stripped of his pension after a ruling Wednesday by the state's highest court.

Finneran, a Boston Democrat, pleaded guilty in 2007 to obstruction of justice. He gave false testimony in a law suit over a legislative redistricting plan.

The Massachusetts Retirement Board decided the felony was related to his public duties, which made Finneran ineligible for his pension.  A lower court disagreed, reinstating the retirement pay.

But the Supreme Judicial Court sided with the retirement board. Justice Barbara Lenk wrote there is a direct link between Finneran's false testimony and his role as House speaker, since he was directly involved in creating the redistricting plan. 

Finneran, who was speaker from 1996 to 2004, last year received more than $36,000 in pension benefits, according to state records.