• Gov. Patrick short on government waste specifics


    In the wake of a FOX Undercover investigation that raised questions about wasteful state spending, Gov. Deval Patrick is releasing few specifics about his "unparalleled record of squeezing out" waste and nonsense.

    FOX Undercover revealed how the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy spent nearly $17,000 on chairs last June, but still isn't using almost half of them.

    The expenditure is part of $8,000,000 the state spent on office furnishings in FY 2012.

    When first asked about the chairs on Tuesday, Patrick said he wasn't aware of the situation, but even after giving him a chance to see the story, the governor is not addressing whether he's concerned about the chairs or other government waste.

    Patrick is in Washington, DC for a conference, but his press office would also not elaborate on the governor's "unparalleled record" comment.

    One Beacon Hill lawmaker is talking about the governor's statements to FOX Undercover.

    "It's unfortunate we spent that kind of money on chairs that are just sitting and being unused," said State Representative Angelo D'Emilia, R-Bridgewater.  "I think there's plenty of waste, fraud and abuse that still exists here in our state and we should be doing a better job looking at all different areas."

    A spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Administration and Finance told FOX Undercover the state owns more than 6,000 buildings.

    "Like any responsible and well-managed organization, we need to maintain, and replace as needed, broken or outdated furniture and equipment in those buildings," said Alex Zaroulis.

    The administration did provide FOX Undercover with some specifics about how it says it's saved the state $11 billion since Patrick took office in 2007.

    The reasons include eliminating 6,000 budgeted positions, shifting health care costs to employees, reducing local aid by close to 30%, and reducing state funding for public higher education.

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