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Coakley, Grossman release figures showing minority hiring in AG, Treasurer’s offices

Nate Homan

State Treasurer Steve Grossman challenged Attorney General Martha Coakley’s hiring record for persons of color after highlighting his record of diversity hiring during a gubernatorial debate in June.

Last week, Coakley released numbers showing that 15.3 percent of the 855 hires from January 1, 2007 to now have been minorities. Of the 576 current employees, 81 are minorities and 312 are females, according to Coakley’s office.

In challenging Coakley, Grossman championed his diverse hiring record, boasting a 35 percent hire rate for minorities on his staff at the Treasury and the Lottery.

“The day I was sworn in I promised the people of Massachusetts that I would hire the most qualified person for every job and that hiring at the Treasury would reflect the diversity of the society in which we live,” Grossman said in a press release.

“As Attorney General, Martha has actively worked to recruit and retain a diverse workforce,” AG’s spokesman Brad Puffer said.

“She built up the office’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, established fellowships to recruit attorneys of color, and does extensive outreach to law schools and minority bar associations. As a result, the Attorney General’s Office has a strong record of hiring both minority and female attorneys. Under Martha’s leadership and her strong team’s efforts, the Attorney General’s Office has been a leader in standing up for equality and fairness for people across the Commonwealth.”

Grossman’s office released their new hires numbers from the Treasury from January 19, 2011 to July 14, 2014. The staff is made up of 108 white, 24 black, 10 Hispanic, 15 Asian and two Native American people.

The Lottery numbers for the new hires at the Lottery broke down to 62 white, 21 black, 7 Hispanic, 13 Asian and one Native American. It should be noted that the Lottery office has more long-term jobs than the Treasury office.

Coakley’s disclosure came after weeks of pressure from Grossman, who originally challenged her to release the figures in a June debate.

“When seeking such a high office in the Commonwealth, you need to be forthcoming about these numbers,” former NAACP President Louis Elisa said. “You should not have to be challenged for them. Instead, you should be more than happy to release them. If the numbers are behind the Commonwealth population figures, it’s evident that this is not a major commitment to diversity and equity given the critical nature of the office. If they reflect the population numbers, it shows that this is an important issue to you and your administration.”

Coakley and Grossman are widely seen as the Democratic frontrunners in the race for the Sept. 4 Democratic primary against fellow Democrat Donald Berwick. The Democratic victor will face off against Republican Charlie Baker, and independent candidates Jeff McCormick, and Evan Falchuk for Deval Patrick’s seat on Beacon Hill on November 4, 2014.