Auditor Suzanne Bump's political foes on Wednesday seized on a wrongful termination lawsuit filed in federal court by a former top aide alleging the auditor conducted campaign re-election activity out of her State House office and fired the deputy after she raised concerns about the activity to Bump. Former First Deputy Auditor Laura Marlin filed the lawsuit in United State District Court on Wednesday alleging that Bump "hurled invectives" at her when she challenged the legality of Bump's suggestion that she should have called the political director of Service Employees International Union Local 509 during the course of the office's audit of the Department of Children and Families. Many of SEIU's members work at the child welfare agency, and Bump the day before the confrontation with Marlin had met with the labor union seeking its endorsement for her re-election campaign. The meeting between Bump and the union had been scheduled for Bump's State House office until Marlin told the auditor it would be improper to have political meetings in the office, and it was moved offsite, according to the lawsuit. Republican Patricia Saint Aubin, who is challenging Bump in the November election, suggested the allegations put forward by Marlin may be cause for a criminal investigation. "These unconscionable allegations of illegal campaign activities and a rigged audit of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), to protect political supporters, are more disturbing evidence of corruption created by one-party rule on Beacon Hill," Saint Aubin said in a statement.


Saint Aubin went on to claim that since taking office in 2011 Bump has "failed to do even 50 % of the audits she's required to do." "She was elected to keep an eye on taxpayer funds and eliminate this kind of mismanagement, not engage in it herself." Bump by early Wednesday afternoon had not responded to the lawsuit, word of which began to spread Tuesday night. [Developing] - M. Murphy/SHNS


Republican candidate for secretary of state David D'Arcangelo visited the State House office of the incumbent, William Galvin, on Wednesday hoping to get a firsthand response to his public records request about the costs of public service announcements featuring Galvin since he took office in 1995. "I just left my name and number," D'Arcangelo told the News Service after returning from Galvin's office where he said an aide said Galvin was in a meeting. Galvin's office, which is the state's chief information office and handles public records requests, has not responded to D'Arcangelo's request that he waive the estimated $5,300 charge Galvin has assigned to the public records request because it's in the "public interest." D'Arcangelo, a member of the Malden City Council, speculated that the substantive information he's requesting could be collected "in an hour" and also complained that Galvin's campaign had not responded to a debate request. "When is he going to start campaigning? He doesn't think he has to campaign?" D'Arcangelo asked. Administrative Services Budget Director Paul McCarthy informed D'Arcangelo's campaign in June of the estimated cost to produce the requested documents, suggesting the "expansive" request from D'Arcangleo spanning 19 years includes records "not susceptible to ordinary means of reproduction" and requires a search through a state accounting system "not currently in use." - M. Norton/SHNS


Attorney General Martha Coakley and Treasurer Steve Grossman, locked in a gubernatorial primary fight when not at their day jobs, appear scheduled to join forces Thursday with Logan Airport service workers to support their campaign to demand better working conditions and a union contract. According to Service Employees International Union, cabin cleaners, baggage handlers and wheelchair assistants have reported unsafe working conditions, unhygienic practices and wage theft. On July 23, the attorney general's office ordered ReadyJet to pay employees $13,045 restitution plus a civil penalty of $5,000. The investigation continues, according to SEIU, and alleged violations include a failure to provide breaks during 10-hour shifts and unpaid overtime, straight time and training hours. Candidate for Attorney General Warren Tolman, treasurer candidate Rep. Thomas Conroy (D-Wayland), Boston Councilor Tito Jackson, Boston Councilor Tim McCarthy and director of 32BJ SEIU District 615 Roxana Rivera are also scheduled to join the 9 a.m. campaign kickoff at 26 West Street in Boston. An SEIU official said Coakley and Grossman won't necessarily be there at the same time, with Grossman scheduled for 9:15 a.m. and Coakley at 9:45 a.m. - H. Donnelly/SHNS


Three state licensing boards are being eliminated under a law signed Wednesday by Gov. Deval Patrick that the governor says will create "an easier path to professional growth and development." The law eliminates the Board of Registration of Barbers and the Board of Registration of Electrologists and creates a consolidated Board of Registration in Cosmetology and Barbering responsible for the licensing of about 88,000 individuals. The law also wipes out the Board of Registration of Radio and Television Technicians, eliminates some quorum and appointment requirements for state boards, and strikes laws that administration officials say purport to authorize boards to hire staff and receive compensation. In a press release, the governor's office described the rationale behind eliminating the radio and TV technician board. "As technology has advanced, televisions and audio devices are lasting longer or being replaced with new innovations and advancements, thus, making obsolete the need to repair old devices," the governor's office said, reporting that the board has issued only 16 new licenses in the last 10 years and licenses fewer than 640 individuals. The board consolidation will take effect in six months and the rest of the law will take effect in 90 days. The bill cleared the House on July 30 and the Senate on July 31, with the branches taking enactment votes to send the bill to Patrick during the early morning hours of Aug. 1. - M. Norton/SHNS