By WGBH News
Feb. 28, 2012
BOSTON — The five-person panel that will oversee casino gambling in Massachusetts is getting its second member. On Tuesday, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced her appointment of retired New Jersey state police lieutenant colonel Gayle Cameron to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Commission chairman-designate Stephen Crosby, appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick, said that each appointment is subjected to intense vetting. He thought that was appropriate given the nature of the positions.
"This is an incredibly sensitive issue, people are skeptical — and we have to deal with people's inherent skepticism," he said. "You know we have had corruption in public office in Massachusetts, like everyplace else, and you know, I've been bopped a few times in the paper for talking to people some thought I shouldn't be talking to. But we just have to live with that."
The full-time position pays $112,500 a year. State treasurer Steven Grossman told the Boston Globe over the weekend that they were having trouble finding good candidates due to the pay.
"While this is definitely an issue, we definitely have reduced the pool of candidates that we have access to … we are going to get good people," Crosby said. "And it's taking us a little while longer than we would like to, but we are going to get some very, very strong people."
Under the law, Coakley gets to appoint one individual with a law enforcement background. Grossman also has one appointment. The remaining two positions will be made jointly by Patrick, Coakley and Grossman. The deadline for the panel to be fully in place is March 21 — barely more than three weeks away.
"This is really a startup. A week ago there wasn't even an office space. So we're going to have to move pretty quickly to get going, and I hope the public will bear with us on that," Crosby said. "We don't want to feel rushed, and take shortcuts. That's how people get in trouble."
He added that the commission can begin meeting as a quorum of three members.
Hear more from Crosby on "The Emily Rooney Show."