Suspended Massachusetts marijuana chair sues as allegations emerge

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New details have emerged about the suspension of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Chair Shannon O’Brien, who has filed a lawsuit alleging the punishment is unlawful.

Treasurer Deb Goldberg, who appointed O’Brien last year, said in a statement that the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) hired a law firm to investigate “several serious allegations” made by a commissioner and other agency staffers, according to the Boston Herald.

“The law firm undertook an investigation and has returned with a report,” the statement noted, without elaborating on the details of the allegations or the firm’s findings.

“According to the CCC’s employee handbook, suspension with pay is the only allowable remedy at this point, as the findings are being reviewed and action is considered.”

O’Brien was suspended with pay on Sept. 14 for undisclosed reasons and length of time earlier this month.

O’Brien filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking an injunction barring the suspension and demanding she be reinstated as CCC chair.

In the complaint, which was uploaded by the State House News Service, O’Brien alleges the suspension was done “without notice, without articulated reason, and without any opportunity to be heard, all of which is required by the clear and unambiguous provisions of Massachusetts law.”

Boston-based law firm Todd & Weld represents O’Brien.