Dumpster fire: Former manager of trash district allegedly made unauthorized payments of public money

By Bryan Bowman | Jun 07, 2018

Raymond Pickles, the former consultant manager of the Carver, Marion and Wareham trash disposal district spent $19,000 of public funds without authorization, officials said during a meeting of the district's oversight committee on Wednesday.

“There was a payment of $19,000 that was made by Mr. Pickles before he left that he was authorized by the board not to pay,” Carver Town Administrator Michael Milanoski said. “But he did pay it anyway on his own without the authorization of the board.”

Moss Hollow Management, a largely one-man consultancy owned by Pickles—who also serves as Marion’s town clerk—had run the trash disposal district for many years until the district severed ties with the company in February amid rising costs. Moss Hollow Management's contract with the towns had long expired, but Pickles had continued his work without one.

The district, which allows the three member towns to jointly contract with waste-to-energy facility SEMASS in Rochester, operates transfer stations in the three towns.

“The board specifically directed Ray not to make the payment. It was specifically stated,” Marion Town Administrator Paul Dawson added.

The payment in question was made in January to a former district employee, Edward Florindo, Dawson said after the meeting.

“Technically the payment of the $19,000 was also an illegal payment because the individual didn’t have the authorization of the board to pay it,” Milanoski said.

Florindo was led to believe by Pickles that he would be able to cash-in vacation and sick days after he retired, Dawson said. A 2012 district audit, however, explicitly states that those days must be used by employees or forfeited, Milanoski noted.

Citing the 2012 audit, Milanoski said the payment to Florindo should not have exceeded $11,683.

“No one is questioning how hard the former employee worked or how dedicated he was, but there’s a fiduciary responsibility that we have,” Milanoski said. “You can’t just give public money away.”

Dawson said that the committee will likely not take legal action to try to recuperate the $7,317 that officials believe was improperly paid because the legal fees necessary to do so would likely exceed that figure. He said legal action against Pickles however, is not off of the table.

The committee also agreed to spend $25,000 for a forensic audit of the district to be completed.

Pickles could not be reached for comment.

Comments (6)
Posted by: yourmonkeysuncle | Jun 08, 2018 07:43

Prosecute Pickles ! Way too much mismanagement and way too little oversight. Let's waste more tax payers money that we don't have for issues we don't need. Do your job !

 



Posted by: thkng60@yahoo.com | Jun 12, 2018 07:26

THE BOARD SPECICALLY TOLD HIM NOT TO MAKE THE PAYMENT??? HE WASN'T EVEN UNDER CONTRACT ANYMORE, SO WHY WOULD HE LISTEN TO THE SO CALLED BOARD? SOMEONE SHOULD LOOK INTO WHY HE WASN'T UNDER CONTRACT, AND ALLOWED TO SCREW THINGS UP TO THIS DEGREE. ALL THREE TOWNS ARE TO BLAME FOR NOT KEEPING AN EYE ON THIS GUY.



Posted by: Curiouscat | Jul 01, 2018 12:11

Why is there no update on Wareham Weekly of Ray Pickles and his wife being charged with embezzlement to the tune of $860,000.00?  I can understand Sippican keeping quiet because God forbid  Marion have a scandal on their hands but residents need to know that this is why our town dumps and landfills are in crisis.  Has he been removed from his position of Town Clerk?  I sure hope they face jail time in addition to making restitution.  Very sad when people in power think they are above the law.  A huge thanks to Wareham Matters for posting the article.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 01, 2018 14:33

Curiouscat - there's also an article about the accusations against Ray Pickles, his wife and a health agent of embezzlement of $838,457 in The Wanderer:

 

https://www.wanderer.com/news/marion-official-wife-face-charges-of-fraud/

 

 



Posted by: Steve Holmes | Jul 02, 2018 09:11

Seems like plenty of conflict here, a Town employee doing business with the Town? Double dipping was outlawed many years ago. Why did the Board allow this to go on? Seems the Board gave Pickles a pretty sweet deal. Maybe their actions should be investigated as well.



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 02, 2018 11:49

Political shenanigans are obviously bad and obviously shouldn't happen.  When they do, the public pays the price in various ways.  None are usually this impactful at a local level.  The whole compost pile, brush dump, dump quandary is this guy's fault!  I couldn't rake my leaves and freely bring them to the compost pile and now I can't cut my darn lawn and freely bring my clippings to the compost pile because of this man.  The two Saturday thing is a paltry offering that alway includes a long line.  The compost pile at Marion was so nice.  All day Tues - Sun.  Now we got to store smelly grass clippings for two weeks to a month because of this guy.  Now that we know it was him, everybody in Wareham should go dump all their yard waste in his front lawn!



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