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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ highest court said the state’s former prisons chief who was pressured to resign amid concerns about his handling of an investigation at a maximum-security psychiatric hospital can’t return to his old job in the department.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday in the case of Luis Spencer, who resigned as Department of Correction commissioner in 2014. After his resignation, Spencer wanted to return to his job as a correctional officer.

The court said Spencer lost his right to do so when he voluntarily resigned, even though it was under the threat of being fired.

Spencer was asked to step down after information emerged about the alleged abuse of a patient by a correctional officer at Bridgewater State Hospital.

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Monica Shah, who represents Spencer, says he served the DOC “honorably” for over three decades. She said Spencer is “disappointed that the Court did not allow him an opportunity to challenge the DOC’s allegations on the merits.”