Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation official resigns
The deputy commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, under fire for his use of public resources to help pay for a July 3 party, resigned from his post Friday afternoon, though Baker administration officials offered no reason for his departure.
Matthew Sisk, a volunteer operative in Charlie Baker’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign, was earlier this month ordered by the governor to take a week’s unpaid leave of absence after it came to light that he arranged for guests at a GOP party on Beacon Street to be transported by state-owned golf carts to the Esplanade for the fireworks and a show by the Boston Pops.
No information was given for his unexpected departure from the DCR, although it appeared to be sudden.
“Matthew Sisk has resigned effective immediately. As this is a personnel matter, no other information is available,” said Peter Lorenz, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, the secretariat that oversees the DCR.
Sisk could not be reached immediately for comment.
DCR Commissioner Leo Roy was also suspended without pay because of the holiday party incident.
Separately this week, the governor withdrew his latest appointment to the agency: former campaign aide Scott Conway, who was headed to be the new $85,000-a-year director of the department’s MassParks operations.
Roy had already sent a letter to his staff touting the 29-year-old Conway’s expertise. Conway, he wrote, “knows and loves our parks, and brings hands-on experience to DCR, having grown up around heavy equipment and worked with a grounds crew at a campground.’’
Conway would have run operations in scores of state reservations, forests, and parks — from the Leo J. Martin Memorial Golf Course to Horseneck Beach in Westport and out to the Appalachian Trail and Mount Greylock Reservation.
Conway was a paid staff member of Baker’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign. He came from the campaign into the State House as the $77,000-a-year deputy of operations, where he earned a reputation for long hours and hard work.
Tim Buckley, Baker’s senior adviser, said the governor had second thoughts about the move because Conway is doing such a good job around the office.
“He is invaluable to the governor’s office,’’ he said, waving off questions why the governor was pulling the plug.