Quincy City Councilor Brian McNamee has been appointed the director of finance for the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, the office announced Friday.
The Ward 6 councilor, who was previously the treasurer and manager of administration & finance for the South Essex Sewerage District in Salem, started the job this week.
McNamee joins Gerard Hogan, former Suffolk County superintendent/special sheriff, who was appointed this week as superintendent of jail operations in Norfolk County.
“These appointments are two of the most important positions at the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Michael Bellotti said in a release. “As Sheriff, I will rely on their experience, expertise and counsel to help me continue to run the Sheriff’s Office in the safest and most efficient manner for the residents of Norfolk County.”
Press spokesperson David Webber said Bellotti looked at several applicants to replace Christopher Bell, who has been the interim finance director for the last 18 months since his predecessor left for a different job.
"The sheriff spoke with a number of other people, considered them, and Brian McCamee twas clearly the most qualified," Webber said. "He had a good understanding of government finance and his educational background made him the ideal candidate."
Webber said the appointment did not have any civil service requirement, and compared the appointment to that of a cabinet level position.
In a phone interview, McNamee declined to discuss the role, citing agency protocol.
As a city councilor, however, McNamee said that his new position was unlikely to pose any conflict with his work in Quincy.
“Working for a correctional facility, there are very few [overlaps],” McNamee said. “I can’t imagine how many. In my eighth year as a city councilor, I don’t know of any matters that have come up that have involved the Norfolk County Sheriff’s office. There isn’t a lot of intersection.”
Regardless, McNamee said he would seek guidance should any conflict-of-interest questions arise. He cited the similarity to his City Council colleagues Kevin Coughlin, who works for the state probation office, and Doug Gutro, who works for the US Environmental Protection Agency.
“We all have to seek guidance to the extent that there are any overlaps in terms of business. And then based on the guidance, we can participate in certain votes,” McNamee said.
In that case, the State Ethics Commission, the sheriff’s office legal staff, and the city solicitor could all weigh in.
“There’s a wall of separation between our duties as city councilors and our full-time jobs, which are our bread and butter. We make about $23,000 as a city councilor. None of us can sustain ourselves with that. Some of us happen to work in public-sector jobs,” McNamee said.
McNamee holds a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and an MBA with a concentration in accounting from the University of Massachusetts.
Before his job in Salem, McNamee worked for the international accounting firms of Arthur Young and Alexander Grant.