The sacked Marilyn Devney is urging the governor to sack a former Industrial Accidents Board judge who took the job after he withdrew his reappointment to the Health and Human Services executive office.
Devane, a member of the governor’s council, on Wednesday sent a letter to Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karin Polito asking for Sabina Herlihy to be removed from their positions in the Baker administration.
Devane read the letter during the council’s public meeting, questioning the decision to hire Hurley and why payments to Herlihy were continued months after the IAB withdrew her judicial nomination.
“Sabina went into disgrace as a judge of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Why is she being rewarded?” Devani asked.
Herlihy was re-nominated in January 2020 by Gov. Baker to serve as the administrative judge presiding over disputed workers’ compensation cases at the IAB. However, his nomination was withdrawn the same month.
Devane said she received complaints before Herlihy’s confirmation hearing about the former judge’s “unacceptable, rude, abusive behavior toward several injured workers.” Two lawyers also testified against him.
Given the circumstances of his return, Devane questioned why Hurley remained on the state’s payroll as an administrative judge until November 7 and the origin of the $8,250 purchase that appears on the state’s payroll records.
The Watertown Democrat also asked the Baker administration to explain how she achieves her current position in the Health and Human Services executive office. Devane described Hurley’s position as deputy director of human resources, while the state’s public payroll database lists her title within the EOHHS as “Deep Dir Board of Hearing”. Herlihy’s salary is listed as $103,942 per year.
Polito told Devane that he and the governor had received his letter that morning and were working on a response.
A spokesman for the governor said Wednesday afternoon that the administration had nothing to add to Devane’s letter or his concerns beyond Polito’s comments.
As the Herald previously reported, members of the Governor’s Council last summer called for Hurley’s removal as a judge, as she was still serving in a holdover role.
Councilors said Industrial Accident Board judges usually serve a six-year term and remain in their role until the replacement is carried forward by the governor.