Monday Morning: Alcohol Agency Review; Fighting Church Sales

Treasurer Steve Grossman has announced a “top-to-bottom” review of the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission after a Boston Globe analysis found the agency spent nearly $2 million in the past two years to settle employment lawsuits. In one settlement, the Globe reports, the alcohol commission said it passed over a candidate to give positions to two relatives of lawmakers.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley last week said the Archdiocese of Boston is stripping six local churches of their holy status — effective today — in order to sell the properties. But some parishioners, who have held vigils in the closed churches for years, say they’ll continue to fight the sales.

The Patrick administration is requesting that NStar complete a review of its rates before a planned merger with Connecticut’s Northeast Utilities moves ahead. The administration says it’s looking to protect consumer rates; NStar says the “substantial delay” could jeopardize the massive deal.

With President Obama passing over Harvard’s Elizabeth Warren for the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Warren-for-Senate speculation is heating up. Analysts told the Herald Warren has the appeal and donor access to “seriously challenge” Sen. Scott Brown.

In other news:
— A MGH team is in Haiti after a cholera outbreak there spiked again.
— Over the weekend, an overflowing memorial service remembered Wayland’s Lauren Astley.

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