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Conflict Of Interest Allegations In Merrimack Case

The state Ethics Commission says the under-fire former executive director of the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative violated conflict of interest law when he put a lobbyist on the payroll.

It alleges that John Barranco hired lobbyist Richard McDonough in 2003 as a public affairs director for the collaborative, but McDonough never worked full time, and didn't have an office or phone extension.

The commission says this allowed McDonough to collect pay, medical benefits and a public pension. McDonough, who also allegedly violated conflict of the interest law, held the position through 2008.

Telephone messages were left Thursday for McDonough and Barranco's attorney.

Barranco also faces allegations he boosted his own pay and used a nonprofit's credit card for personal expenses.

McDonough was convicted in June of unrelated federal corruption charges along with former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi.

Earlier:

This program aired on August 18, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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