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    Arroyo uses 70th birthday bash to pay bills from suspension

    Felix D. Arroyo talked with the media outside the governor's office at the State House in Boston in April 2017.
    John Blanding/Globe Staff/File 2017
    Felix D. Arroyo talked with the media outside the governor's office at the State House in Boston in April 2017.

    Cue the balloons, candles, cake . . . and checks to pay off the bills?

    Felix D. Arroyo, register of probate for Suffolk County and a former city councilor, is throwing himself a 70th birthday bash and asking for $70 to attend — to help lessen his tab against “my unjust suspension last year.”

    “Your sponsorship of the event will help to reduce the debt that was incurred when I fought back against my unjust suspension last year,” Arroyo said in an e-mail solicitation to supporters. “The cost of this campaign was great, but there was no alternative. We won our fight and I was vindicated but the fight goes on, and I ask that you please continue standing with me.”

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    Arroyo was suspended in February 2017 amid questions about his job performance. He said, however, that his performance was affected by a resistance within the rank and file that was based on discrimination, including opposition to his hiring choices. He was cleared to return to work in October.

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    The US Department of Justice also opened a probe into whether the Office of the Suffolk County Probate and Family Court “engaged in a pattern of practice of discrimination,” court officials disclosed in August.

    As for the birthday party, it’s scheduled for April 17 at Dona Habana Restaurant on Massachusetts Avenue.

    Host committee members (“still in formation,” per the e-mail) include state Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, a Democrat from Jamaica Plain; City Councilors Michelle Wu and Kim Janey; Council President Andrea Campbell; and Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins.

    Milton J. Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.