The state ethics commission is investigating allegations that the former Massachusetts state police chief and other officials violated state conflict of interest laws in 2017, according to The Boston Globe.
Former Colonel Richard McKeon’s charges come after he ordered Private Ryan Sceviour to redact certain comments from the arrest report of a Dudley District Court judge’s daughter. The initial incident – called “Troopergate” – took place in October 2017.
District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr., his first aide Jeffrey Travers and State Police Maj. Susan Anderson were also charged by the Ethics Commission with abusing their power, according to the World.
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Private Sceviour said he was punished for including the comments and filed a first complaint a few weeks after the arrest. In 2018, he refiled the lawsuit, 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 review the case for conflict of interest concerns, according to World.
After three weeks of hearings ending Friday, the ethics commission will now consider fines of $20,000 for each of the officials, the newspaper reports.
“Altering an arrest report based on who someone is or who someone might be related to violates conflict of interest law,” Ethics Commission attorney Candies Pruitt said. World. “The reason state officials took the action they took was because the woman was the daughter of a judge.”
the World reports that Early told McKeon to ask the police officer who arrested Alli Bibaud to retract his remarks about her exchanging sex for heroin. Early also said she would lash out at her father, who she said was a judge and would be livid, according to the newspaper.
The commission also looked into reports that Travers and Anderson helped with the task, according to the Globe.
Defense attorneys told the newspaper the case was “much ado about nothing” and noted that officials handled the case as they would any drug abuse case.
They added that these types of comments made by Bibaud should not be included in police reports, according to the World. The newspaper noted that other court officials testified to this fact.
McKeon retired from his post in November 2017, shortly after receiving backlash for editing the arrest report.
the World McKeon said 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 ordering 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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