The state Ethics Commission is looking into allegations that the former head of the Massachusetts State Police and other officials violated the state’s conflict of interest laws in 2017, according to The Boston Globe.
Former Colonel Richard McKeon’s charges come after he ordered Trooper Ryan Sceviour to remove certain comments from the arrest report of the daughter of a Dudley District Court judge. The initial incident — referred to as “Troopergate” — took place in October of 2017.
District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr., his First Assistant Jeffrey Travers, and State Police Major Susan Anderson were also accused by the Ethics Commission of misusing their power, according to the Globe.
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Trooper Sceviour said he was punished for including the comments, and filed an initial lawsuit a few weeks after the arrest. In 2018, he re-filed the complaint, adding Early. The lawsuit was settled in November 2019.
Attorney General Maura Healey launched a five-month investigation in 2018. She did not bring criminal charges, but asked the Ethics Commission to look into the case for conflict of interest issues, according to the Globe.
After three weeks of hearings ending Friday, the Ethics Commission will now consider $20,000 fines for each of the officials, the paper reports.
“Changing an arrest report based on who someone is or who someone might be related to violates the conflict of interest law,” Ethics Commission lawyer Candies Pruitt told the Globe. “The reason the state officials took the actions they did was because the woman was a judge’s daughter.”
The Globe reports that Early told McKeon to have the trooper who arrested Alli Bibaud remove her remarks regarding her trading sex for heroin. Early also said to take out rant about her father, who she said was a judge and would be livid, according to the paper.
The commission also looked into reports that Travers and Anderson helped complete this task, according to the Globe.
Defense lawyers told the paper that the case is “much ado about nothing” and noted the officials dealt with this case the way they would regarding any substance abuse disorder case.
They added that these types of comments Bibaud made should not be included in police reports, according to the Globe. The paper noted that other court officials testified to that fact.
McKeon retired from his position in November of 2017, shortly after receiving backlash for editing the arrest report.
The Globe reported McKeon testified that the language used in the original report was unprofessional.
“It was vulgar,” McKeon told the Globe. “It was profane and it was unnecessary, in my opinion.”
Early acknowledged he ordered McKeon to remove some of the language, according to the Globe. However, he said he did not try to replace the report with an edited version.
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Source : https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2022/04/30/4-officials-face-charges-of-ethics-violations-for-editing-arrest-report-of-judges-daughter/