I-Team: Framingham Building Commissioner Off The Job
FRAMINGHAM (CBS) – The i-Team told you this week about Michael Foley, the powerful and well connected Building Commissioner in Framingham.
Tonight he is off the job, placed on administrative leave by the town’s Interim Town Manager because of what the i-Team found.
The i-Team tried to talk to Framingham’s Building Commissioner Michael Foley two weeks ago. We were looking for answers to questions we submitted to him, ones he promised to answer, but never did.
WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports
Shortsleeve asked Foley as he left his Framingham office, “We would like to get some answers to the questions the i-Team submitted to you?”
Foley would only say, “Talk to counsel, thank you.”
We called town counsel but he did not return two phone calls.
The i-Team wanted to know about what appeared to be fraudulent expense reports, specifically putting in for mileage that he never drove.
And then the i-Team found evidence of huge discounts on expensive building permits for places where Foley was connected like his health club. The potential cost to taxpayers –was about $4,000.00. And there was The Bone restaurant which under went an extensive renovation and it was documented on national TV. However not a single permit was required and no fees paid. Sources tell the i-Team Foley actually told one inspector to stop asking questions about those permits. Foley has friends associated with the restaurant.
George Lewis is an elected Framingham Town Meeting member.
“That is outrageous, for someone in authority to start giving discounts to other people, that’s not, it’s the town’s money, and it’s our money.”
Foley is also being investigated for his questionable work habits. The i-Team learned he teed off every Wednesday this summer at a golf course in Millis. His scores over 17 weeks were even posted on line.
One unidentified source told WBZ, “Everybody in the department knew about it, it wasn’t a secret at all.”
Shortsleeve asked what “was their reaction to it?”
The former town employee said, “They were very upset, why can he get this privilege and why not anyone else in the department?”
“Why does he get it?”
As of Friday morning Foley is on administrative leave with pay. His salary is almost $98,000. He is expected to appear before Framingham’s Board of Selectman next Tuesday night at 5:30. That will be a private executive session so they can deal with a personnel issue.
The i-Team has learned town leaders are even considering hiring an outside contractor to do an independent investigation because of the volume of complaints that have come in since the story aired.