Suspended CCC chair accuses Treasurer of political interference

Date:

Massachusetts’ top marijuana regulator, who was suspended nearly three months ago, is accusing the state treasurer of political interference at the Cannabis Control Commission and is fighting for a public hearing. Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg suspended Cannabis Control Commission Chairwoman Shannon O’Brien on Sept. 16, one year after she was chosen for the position. The state treasurer is responsible for appointing the chair of the Cannabis Control Commission.Now, O’Brien doesn’t want Goldberg to be the one with the authority to fire her. O’Brien’s attorney said Goldberg worked to protect the former executive director at the CCC, who also formerly worked for the treasurer.Additionally, O’Brien’s lawyer said the treasurer received reports before the chair did and argued that Goldberg could not be fair. “Decisions were made about what my behavior was, or was not, before any report was done. The treasurer did not wait for a report before she decided I should be suspended. As a matter of fact, senior staff was sharing information about my suspension before I was even made aware of it,” O’Brien said. The attorney general’s office is representing the treasurer in the case. They want to move forward with a hearing to pave the way toward firing O’Brien and argue Goldberg was following the rules. “The treasurer has been acting on information that has been provided to her by the commission, so once it is provided to her, she then has an obligation under the statute,” said Assistant Attorney General John Hitt. “It is undeniably false to say the Treasurer has been immersed and embedded in the Cannabis Control Commission,” said Andrew Napolitano, the spokesperson for Goldberg’s office. “The Treasurer has no authority, oversight, management, or influence over the Commission. She simply appoints the Chair. We look forward to hearing the court’s decision. The Treasurer remains ready to hear from Chair O’Brien on these serious allegations as soon as possible.”Documents filed with the court last week include a letter from Goldberg to O’Brien, which indicates she was accused of making “racially, ethnically and culturally insensitive statements.”O’Brien denies the allegations and sued Goldberg over the issue in late September. Video below: Documents offer new insight into dispute“One need only read what is alleged by Treasurer Goldberg and Chair O’Brien’s response to see that any allegation of racial insensitivity is frivolous in the extreme,” said attorney Howard Cooper, who represents O’Brien. “The Treasurer appears to be afraid to hold a real hearing, with witnesses and cross-examination, and in public so that Chair O’Brien can show the lack of merit to this entire so-called process.””The Treasurer takes these allegations very seriously, which is why she wants to provide Chair O’Brien with the opportunity to address them without further delay, and with a fair process that provides an opportunity for her to do that,” said Andrew Napolitano, the communication director for Goldberg’s office. “In October, Chair O’Brien was so adamant about having this meeting that she went to court to demand it. Now, despite knowing about the allegations since September, she is asking to delay the meeting again. It is in the best interest of the taxpayers and the CCC that this meeting proceed.”Since the commission was created in 2018, three people have held the Chair.Goldberg picked O’Brien, a former Democratic nominee for governor, for the CCC chair position in late August 2022. She followed interim Chair Sarah Kim and inaugural CCC Chair Steven Hoffman.O’Brien remains suspended without pay. The judge said she’ll issue a ruling soon on the issues argued during Thursday’s hearing.

Massachusetts’ top marijuana regulator, who was suspended nearly three months ago, is accusing the state treasurer of political interference at the Cannabis Control Commission and is fighting for a public hearing.

Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg suspended Cannabis Control Commission Chairwoman Shannon O’Brien on Sept. 16, one year after she was chosen for the position. The state treasurer is responsible for appointing the chair of the Cannabis Control Commission.

Now, O’Brien doesn’t want Goldberg to be the one with the authority to fire her.

O’Brien’s attorney said Goldberg worked to protect the former executive director at the CCC, who also formerly worked for the treasurer.

Additionally, O’Brien’s lawyer said the treasurer received reports before the chair did and argued that Goldberg could not be fair.

“Decisions were made about what my behavior was, or was not, before any report was done. The treasurer did not wait for a report before she decided I should be suspended. As a matter of fact, senior staff was sharing information about my suspension before I was even made aware of it,” O’Brien said.

The attorney general’s office is representing the treasurer in the case. They want to move forward with a hearing to pave the way toward firing O’Brien and argue Goldberg was following the rules.

“The treasurer has been acting on information that has been provided to her by the commission, so once it is provided to her, she then has an obligation under the statute,” said Assistant Attorney General John Hitt.

“It is undeniably false to say the Treasurer has been immersed and embedded in the Cannabis Control Commission,” said Andrew Napolitano, the spokesperson for Goldberg’s office. “The Treasurer has no authority, oversight, management, or influence over the Commission. She simply appoints the Chair. We look forward to hearing the court’s decision. The Treasurer remains ready to hear from Chair O’Brien on these serious allegations as soon as possible.”

Documents filed with the court last week include a letter from Goldberg to O’Brien, which indicates she was accused of making “racially, ethnically and culturally insensitive statements.”

O’Brien denies the allegations and sued Goldberg over the issue in late September.

Video below: Documents offer new insight into dispute

“One need only read what is alleged by Treasurer Goldberg and Chair O’Brien’s response to see that any allegation of racial insensitivity is frivolous in the extreme,” said attorney Howard Cooper, who represents O’Brien. “The Treasurer appears to be afraid to hold a real hearing, with witnesses and cross-examination, and in public so that Chair O’Brien can show the lack of merit to this entire so-called process.”

“The Treasurer takes these allegations very seriously, which is why she wants to provide Chair O’Brien with the opportunity to address them without further delay, and with a fair process that provides an opportunity for her to do that,” said Andrew Napolitano, the communication director for Goldberg’s office. “In October, Chair O’Brien was so adamant about having this meeting that she went to court to demand it. Now, despite knowing about the allegations since September, she is asking to delay the meeting again. It is in the best interest of the taxpayers and the CCC that this meeting proceed.”

Since the commission was created in 2018, three people have held the Chair.

Goldberg picked O’Brien, a former Democratic nominee for governor, for the CCC chair position in late August 2022. She followed interim Chair Sarah Kim and inaugural CCC Chair Steven Hoffman.

O’Brien remains suspended without pay. The judge said she’ll issue a ruling soon on the issues argued during Thursday’s hearing.

Share post:

Subscribe

Popular

More like this
Related

Chicago Bulls win their first NBA championship – Chicago Tribune

Today’s Sports Highlight in History:In 1991, the Chicago Bulls...

What corporate finance teams should know about SBTi’s new financial sector guidance

The Science Based Targets initiative will requires banks and...

Sabre reveals key outbound Chinese travel insights for 2024

The travel industry has been waiting. Waiting for Chinese...

The Scarce Energy Foundation Dubai Share Event was successfully held recently

The event focused on scarce energy and attracted the...