Cambridge Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci resigned yesterday from a 27-year job as principal tax examiner for the state Department of Corporations and Taxations, following published allegations he performed extensive personal and city errands on state time.
After reporters trailed him on Wednesday, yesterday's Boston Globe reported Vellucci worked irregular hours for the department. Vellucci's primary duty for the $16,000 position involved the collection of back taxes for the state, requiring extensive travel in the Boston area, a tax department spokesman said yesterday. The job of mayor of Cambridge is part-time.
Vellucci could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Peter Vellucci, the mayor's son and campaign manager for the upcoming municipal elections in November, said yesterday he would not comment on the allegations until after his father released a statement. He added that several of his father's supporters called him to express support but "a couple of hecklers have called." He also said "it was sad the way it came up."
Patrick Centanni, Vellucci's administrative aide, said yesterday he received a similar response at city hall. Centanni said any changes in Vellucci's re-election plans would probably depend on the extent of the publicity stemming from yesterday's charges. He said he expects Vellucci to hold a press conference within the next few days.
John R. Buckley '54, state secretary of administration and finance, who oversees the tax department, said yesterday Vellucci had been taken off the state payroll as of 10 a.m. Wednesday. Buckley added he was unsure whether Vellucci took himself off of the payroll before or after the Globe story came out.
Thomas McDonough, Vellucci's supervisor at the tax department, denied yesterday Vellucci had a "no-show" job. He said, however, Vellucci had taken several leaves without pay.
McDonough said Vellucci signed out every Monday afternoon at noon to attend city council meetings. Regular council meetings normally start at 8 p.m.
Prior to the Globe story, state house sources said it was known Vellucci had a flexible time schedule. Vellucci often boasted he originally received the position after demanding a job from a Democratic governor following his election as a city councilor in the 1950s.
Buckley said the office of the state attorney general has been investigating the tax department for alleged corruption over the last several months.
Alan Raymond, deputy press secretary for Governor Michael S. Dukakis, said yesterday past holders of state "no-show" jobs have been fired or suspended without pay. He added the state has rarely forced anyone to return their salaries or face criminal prosecution.
Walter J. McCarthy, assistant chief of personnel in the department, said yesterday he did not know why Vellucci resigned, but it was "completely voluntary.