BOSTON (State House News Service) – Last week’s Governor’s Council meeting — which was set to include a controversial Parole Board vote — was not actually nixed due to a lack of attendance but instead was scuttled ahead of time by the Baker administration, two councilors said.

The council had been due to vote last Wednesday on a pair of Gov. Charlie Baker’s nominations, including the reappointment of Parole Board member Colette Santa, who came under fire at her confirmation hearing in July.

The meeting was cancelled, and with several councilors absent from the State House, the council office recorded insufficient quorum as the official cause.

But Councilor Mary Hurley later reached out to the News Service and pinned the cancellation on the Baker administration.

“We were told that because of a conflict the governor and lieutenant governor would not be available for the assembly,” Hurley, who represents western Massachusetts, wrote in an email.

The administration schedules council meetings and also has the authority to cancel them.

Hurley could not be reached for an interview Monday, but her inclusion of Baker in her statement could foreshadow how the Santa vote might play out.

The governor rarely participates in the council’s formal sessions and his attendance can indicate a narrow vote on one of his nominees. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito normally presides over the eight-person panel as a non-voting member, but she can cast a tie-breaking vote if Baker chairs the meeting.

In 2016, Baker was called into the Council Chamber to facilitate a tie-breaker on a District Court judgeship.

Councilor Paul DePalo, who represents the Worcester area, said Monday that the Baker administration had cancelled last week’s meeting well ahead of its mid-afternoon start time. He said he learned of the cancellation upon his arrival at the State House earlier in the day

DePalo said that Hurley’s characterization of events was “certainly my understanding.”

“That’s what I was told,” DePalo told the News Service. He added, “We don’t set assembly. That’s strictly the LG.”

“I do know that the Parole Board vote was supposed to happen that day, and I know that that’s been a contentious thing. And I don’t know where the votes are on that,” DePalo said.

DePalo said he had decided how he would vote on Santa’s reappointment but did not want to discuss his choice until the session had taken place.

The administration had listed the meeting as Polito’s only public event last Wednesday and did not issue an updated schedule when the meeting was called off. Staff did not publish a schedule to disclose Baker’s plans for that day.

Baker’s press office declined to comment Monday.

The governor’s request to give Santa another five-year term on the Parole Board has been a prickly issue in the council, which approves the vast majority of nominations sent over by the governor.

Some councilors directed sharp questions toward Santa at her public interview regarding her treatment of staff, participation in parole hearings, and use of vacation time. The former Department of Correction official has also faced anonymous staff allegations about her behavior and the broader work environment at the Parole Board.

The council needs a quorum of five members to convene a formal session. The News Service reported last week that Councilors Eileen Duff, Terry Kennedy, Bob Jubinville and DePalo were present in the building, in addition to Councilor Marilyn Devaney who was absent from the chamber due to indigestion.

DePalo added that Councilor Chris Iannella was also present earlier in the day, which would have made a quorum. “I thought we had those five,” he said.

The council’s next session, which could feature a vote on Santa’s nomination, is scheduled for Wednesday at 12 p.m.