Massachusetts AG Goes to Legislature to Ban Board Pay at Nonprofits

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September 20, 2011; Source: Boston Herald | Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley went to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary yesterday to ask for their help in banning the practice of paying nonprofit trustees. The issue surfaced in the Bay State when an $11-million salary and severance package was awarded to Clive Killingsworth after he resigned from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. When it was revealed that the trustees themselves were also being paid handsomely, a penny dropped for Coakley. She told the Boston Herald that trustees should serve on a board like BCBS’s because they want to look out for the best interests of the insured (who, by the way, have seen their rates climb on a fairly steep trajectory of late). Coakley said, “As a general rule, the historic reason that people volunteer to serve at public charities is because they have a fiduciary duty to the mission, not their own profit. . . . This bill would restore what has always been the practice, up until the last few decades.”—Ruth McCambridge