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Lottery suspends relative of DeNucci

Incident alleged at holiday party

The State Lottery Commission has suspended without pay for two weeks the son-in-law of State Auditor A. Joseph DeNucci after the lottery financial investigator allegedly grabbed the breasts of a top agency official at a holiday party, a top lottery source said.

Edward M. Asaley, who joined the lottery commission in 1990, also apparently left a threatening message on the voicemail of a high-ranking female employee, said the source, who refused to be quoted by name.

Lottery executive director Joseph Sullivan issued a brief statement yesterday that did not include Asaley's name, the victim's name, or any particulars:

''We take these types of issues very seriously at the lottery and have a crystal-clear policy with respect to dealing with them in the workplace. With respect to the incidents in question, we have taken disciplinary action against an employee with a good record over a 15-year period."

The Globe reported in 1990 that DeNucci lobbied outgoing Treasurer Robert Q. Crane for months to hire Asaley at the Lottery Commission, which the treasurer oversees.

DeNucci, whose office was conducting an audit of the Lottery Commission at the time, denied exerting any influence over the hiring process.

Crane ultimately hired Asaley to a $37,000-a-year sales job, but Asaley was promoted last spring to a $57,000-a-year financial investigator post, edging out more than a dozen other candidates, the Boston Herald reported last year.

Asaley, in addition to being suspended, will also be put on probation for six months.

DeNucci's office recently began a new audit of the Lottery Commission.

A man who answered the telephone last night at Asaley's Newton home said Asaley would not be available for comment.

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