On Beacon Hill: Retribution allegations put heat on Baker administration

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From State House News Service


  • Aide: Baker knew about alleged retribution earlier than he first said
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  • Baker considers ‘status quo’ as charter school expansion hangs in balance
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Aide: Baker knew of alleged retribution in June, not September

Gov. Charlie Baker told reporters on Thursday that he learned about an alleged retribution case within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs about two weeks ago, but an aide later said the governor misspoke about the timeline.

“We were made aware of the allegations about 10 days ago and told EEA they needed to conduct an investigation with oversight and input from our legal office,” Baker said Sept. 22. “And the allegations are extremely troubling and we want to see what comes out of that investigation.”

The retaliation claim involves a staffer, Cynthia Lewis, who reportedly said she faced harassment and was told she would be transferred to a different office after her fiance, J.D. Parker O’Grady, a Democrat, launched a Senate campaign against Republican incumbent Sen. Donald Humason Jr. of Westfield.

According to a cease and desist letter quoted by the Boston Herald, which first reported the allegations, personnel officer Jared Valanzola, himself a failed Republican candidate for the House, suggested Lewis, who worked for the chief of environmental police, “break off her engagement” with Parker O’Grady.

Watch: Baker reacts to ‘unbelievably disturbing’ allegations

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