Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is investigated under charges of harassment and retaliation by GOP loyalists. The incident took place after J.D. Parker-O’Grady, the fiancé of a staffer, launched a campaign to unseat a Republican state senator, the Herald reported.
The staffer reported that she was warned by one of Baker loyalist who is at the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The loyalist allegedly threatened her that if her fiancé does not drop his Democratic challenge of an incumbent GOP state senator, she would have to face vengeance.
The staffer, Cynthia Lewis’ lawyer stated in his letter that she was transferred to a registration outpost in Fall River. Her transferred was done just a day after her fiancé launched his campaign. Lewis used to work for the chief of the state environmental police, former Baker campaign driver Col. James McGinn.
However, when Herald contacted Lweis, a former staffer for GOP state Sen. Bruce Tarr, she turned down the comment.
Her former attorneys sent a cease and desist letter to the EEA’s legal counsel which stated that she was threatened, harassed and intimidated by Baker appointees to stop Parker-O’Grady’s Democratic challenge to Humason.
The letter further stated that EEA “personnel officer” Jared Valanzola contacted Lewis shortly after Parker-O’Grady announced his campaign on Facebook. Valanzola’s cousin Michael Valanzola was appointed by Baker as chief operating officer at the agency.
An internal investigation has begun within EEA ever since the letter and allegations provoked. The administration has been warned by Lewis’ legal team to keep all the communications intact, sources told the Herald.
A spokesman for the Energy and Environmental Affairs Peter Lorenz said that transfers are normal and they are routine. However, he refused to comment on the accusations.
According to the Herald more than a dozen administrators and staffers are actively participating in the state Republican Party.
The administrators and staffers also include a former state trooper McGinn who got a $134,000 job and a promotion to colonel. McGinn used to work as Baker’s driver during the 2014 campaign.
Baker’s image already discolored as two DCR administrators were suspended for using taxpayer-funded golf carts and other resources to organize a gathering at the Beacon Hill house of prominent Republican Ron Kaufman.
After the new charges and accusations provoked by Lewis’ proposed transfer, Baker’s image is once again in trouble.