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Suffolk register of probate allegedly hit employee after Christmas cheer turned sour

Patricia Campatelli was sworn in as register of probate by Paula M. Carey on Jan. 2, 2012.
Patricia Campatelli was sworn in as register of probate by Paula M. Carey on Jan. 2, 2012.Jeremy C. Fox for The Boston Globe

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Patricia Campatelli fought an uphill battle to get elected Suffolk County register of probate in 2012. And she may not have stopped fighting.

The political newcomer was placed on administrative leave for four days last month while court officials investigated allegations that she punched an employee in the face during an argument after a downtown Christmas party.

Campatelli, who has faced other accusations of belligerent behavior since beginning her upset campaign for register in 2012, was allowed to return to work after court officials could not substantiate the employee’s allegation, according to a court spokeswoman.

But the alleged victim, a longtime case coordinator in Campatelli’s office named Timothy Perry, has not returned to work, aside from one day when a co-worker said he had a visible bruise or laceration on his lip. It is unclear whether Perry’s absence is related to the incident, but one court official said Perry initially was extremely upset about the alleged assault.

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