Treasurer releases (some) particulars about hashish fee suspension as lawsuit filed

Native Information

After being suspended, Hashish Management Fee Chair Shannon O’Brien is alleging state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg violated the legislation.

Shannon O’Brien, the previous gubernatorial candidate and state treasurer who was suspended as chair of the Hashish Management Fee final month, is suing Treasurer Deborah Goldberg over the matter.

Deborah Goldberg.

Goldberg, whose workplace is in control of appointing the state’s marijuana regulator, introduced that O’Brien would step into the function simply final summer time. Goldberg abruptly suspended O’Brien on Sept. 14, together with her workplace refusing to touch upon a “personnel matter.”

Now, O’Brien is accusing Goldberg of suspending her with out due course of and asking a choose to reinstate her. O’Brien filed the lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court docket final Thursday. 

“Treasurer Goldberg eliminated Chair O’Brien with out discover, with out articulated motive, and with none alternative to be heard, all of which is required by the clear and unambiguous provisions of Massachusetts legislation,” O’Brien stated in her criticism. 

After greater than every week of silence in regards to the motive for O’Brien’s suspension, Goldberg ultimately informed The Boston Globe that she acquired “a number of severe allegations” about O’Brien’s habits. These allegations reportedly got here to Goldberg from CCC employees and one different commissioner. 

Unbiased investigators had been enlisted to look into the complaints and returned with a report about their findings. The main points of the allegations and the investigators’ findings haven’t been made public, in accordance with the Globe

“Based on the CCC’s worker handbook, suspension with pay is the one allowable treatment at this level, because the findings are being reviewed and motion is taken into account,” Goldberg stated in a press release to the paper. 

In her criticism, O’Brien stated she was chosen by Goldberg to steer the CCC due to her perception in O’Brien as a “change agent” who would fight the company’s “entrenched forms and infighting.”

However Goldberg has “willfully side-stepped each Massachusetts legislation and any course of in any respect” by suspending O’Brien, she stated within the criticism. State legislation doesn’t give Goldberg the authority to droop a commissioner, she stated. 

Goldberg does have the ability to take away a commissioner she appointed if the commissioner “is responsible of malfeasance in workplace; considerably neglects the duties of a commissioner; is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the workplace; commits gross misconduct; or is convicted of a felony,” in accordance with state legislation. 

Steve Hoffman, who served within the function earlier than O’Brien, stunned the general public when he resigned in spring 2022. There’s a “playbook” on the CCC the place “baseless allegations” are asserted with the intention of inflicting prolonged investigations “that had been designed to power resignations,” O’Brien stated within the criticism. She stated that there have been unsubstantiated allegations made in opposition to Hoffman and {that a} CCC worker informed her that she could be “Hoffman 2.0.”

“Chair O’Brien, like her predecessor, has been subjected to the making of false and defamatory allegations in opposition to her, all made in an effort to power her elimination,” O’Brien stated within the criticism.