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Court nixes hiring of Mass. man to Probation Dept.

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Court nixes hiring of Mass. man to Probation Dept.

Massachusetts’ highest court has upheld a decision by the state’s chief administrative judge to block the Probation Department from hiring a man with six relatives on the court system payroll.

Stephen Anzalone had sued, arguing Chief Justice for Administration Robert Mulligan had taken too long to rescind the job offer by waiting six months.

In the unanimous ruling, Chief Justice Margaret Marshall pointed out Anzalone initially only mentioned three relatives when asked to fill out a job application.

The court ruled Mulligan was within his rights to block the move which the justices said could violate the Trial Court’s appointment standards with regard to nepotism.

Anzalone’s lawyer, Kevin Powers, said the court decided the case based on politics instead of a fair analysis of the law.

Mass. AG Coakley settles with CVS on drug pricing

Attorney General Martha Coakley has reached an agreement with CVS Pharmacy, Inc., in which the pharmacy chain will repay the state and public entities $2.65 million for alleged prescription drug overcharges.

Coakley said Monday that $1.3 million will go to about 200 cities and towns, as well as other public entities, that allegedly had been overcharged since 2002 for prescriptions covered under the workers compensation insurance system.

A CVS spokesman said the Rhode Island-based company has not admitted liability or wrongdoing, but agreed to settle the matter to avoid the expense of a further investigation.

The remaining $1.35 million from the settlement will go to the state’s general fund.

Coakley reached similar agreements with Shaws Supermarkets earlier this year and with Stop and Shop in 2009. 

Mass. gets deadline waiver on military ballot law

Massachusetts has been granted a waiver by the Department of Defense from a new federal law meant to protect the voting rights of deployed troops and other Americans overseas.

Under the law, ballots must be sent out 45 days before the Nov. 2 election. Massachusetts’ primary is Sept. 14, just 49 days before the general election.

Secretary of State William Galvin asked for the waiver by proposing a system he said could get ballots to overseas residents faster than if they were sent out by mail.

The state will electronically send the general election ballots to city and town clerks as soon as they are set. The clerks can send the ballots by mail, fax, e-mail depending on the voter’s preference.

Massachusetts was one of nine states and the District of Columbia that requested a waiver.

Group: Conn. has largest national achievement gap

A Connecticut education group says the state has the worst performance gap between low-income and non low-income students in the country.

The Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement announced Monday that it has found 4th- and 8th-grade low-income students are on average about three grade-levels behind their peers in reading and math. It also said 60 percent of low-income students graduated from high school in 2009 compared with 86 percent of more affluent students.

The group says it plans to release a report Oct. 20 with suggestions on how to close the gap.

Connecticut was not a finalist in the Obama administration’s Race to the Top education grant program.

The state was seeking $175 million in federal funding to help jumpstart a series of education reforms passed by the legislature this year.