State Treasurer Steve Grossman, who oversees the ABCC, said he asked the state inspector general to conduct a “top-to-bottom” review of the agency.
The Boston Globe first reported the story. Legislative leaders expressed concern this week, following the Globe report that the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission paid out $1.7 million to resolve three employment disputes.
In one case, according to public records and legal documents cited by The Globe, the agency said it turned down a job applicant because two available slots had to go to relatives of lawmakers, or the Legislature would not fund the positions.
House Speaker Robert DeLeo called the report “disturbing” and said Monday he’d never heard of the Legislature holding up funds for an agency unless it made patronage hires.
“That just doesn’t happen,” said DeLeo, who chaired the budget-writing House Ways and Means Committee before becoming speaker.
Senate President Therese Murray said she wanted an explanation as to why the agency agreed to the settlements.
“I would like to know why a case like that was settled, and we paid money for them to give that kind of an answer or to use that kind of excuse for not hiring somebody,” Murray said.
The ABCC has an annual budget of about $2 million and regulates the sale of liquor at package stores, restaurants and bars.