FALL­OUT CLAIMS 2ND STATIE

Top trooper’s No. 2 quits as scrubbed ar­rest re­port scan­dal deep­ens

Boston Herald - - NEWS - By MATT STOUT, BOB McGOVERN and O’RYAN JOHN­SON

The Troop­er­gate scan­dal claimed an­other top state po­lice of­fi­cer yes­ter­day, with the agency’s sec­ond-in-com­mand fol­low­ing his boss into hasty re­tire­ment.

Deputy Su­per­in­ten­dent Fran­cis Hughes an­nounced last night he is join­ing Col. Richard McKeon in re­tire­ment af­ter McKeon faced wide­spread crit­i­cism for or­der­ing two troop­ers to scrub em­bar­rass­ing de­tails from the drug and OUI ar­rest re­port of a judge’s daugh­ter.

McKeon was sched­uled to step down Fri­day from his $251,000-ayear post, but he abruptly ended his near 35-year ca­reer at the close of busi­ness yes­ter­day with no ex­pla­na­tion. State po­lice spokesman David Pro­co­pio said he didn’t know why McKeon chose to leave early, and ef­forts to reach McKeon were not suc­cess­ful.

“The tim­ing is very ques­tion­able,” at­tor­ney Leonard Kesten, who rep­re­sents the two troop­ers who are su­ing McKeon and oth­ers, said of the dual re­tire­ments. “They keep say­ing, ‘No­body did any­thing wrong. It’s all rou­tine.’ And then the top two just abruptly re­tired.

“There’s se­ri­ous wrong­do­ing that we are look­ing into ... and it speaks vol­umes,” he said.

Hughes — a 31-year vet­eran and past Trooper of the Year be­fore he was tapped for his $233,889-a-year deputy po­si­tion — wasn’t specif­i­cally named in ei­ther of the troop­ers’ suits. But Kesten said Hughes was a “John Doe” iden­ti­fied in court pa­per­work, call­ing him a “link” be­tween McKeon and other staff who could be de­posed as part of the suit.

Dana Pull­man, pres­i­dent of the State Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion of Mas­sachusetts, said the union filed an of­fi­cial com­plaint with in­ter­nal af­fairs on Mon­day seek­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the mat­ter.

“In no way is this pro­to­col or nor­mal. It’s like a mur­der-sui­cide,” Pull­man said of the quick ex­its. “We want a fully open in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Mas­sachusetts State Po­lice in­ter­nal af­fairs unit. There was noth­ing be­ing put for­ward by the depart­ment look­ing into this. That’s why we re­quested it. We stood by and we waited. The al­le­ga­tions were def­i­nitely se­ri­ous enough to war­rant an in­ter­nal af­fairs in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

He said the union wants an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to ex­am­ine whether McKeon, Hughes and oth­ers “en­gaged in a con­spir­acy to vi­o­late the law by tam­per­ing with of­fi­cial court doc­u­ments.”

“This ain’t over,” Pull­man said. “This ain’t even close to be­ing over. This thing hasn’t even started yet and it’s sent them run­ning for the hills. I don’t take any plea­sure in it. It’s dis­grace­ful on all counts.”

In a state­ment, Pro­co­pio said of the Hughes de­par­ture, “Tra­di­tion­ally, when a Colonel/Su­per­in­ten­dent of the Mas­sachusetts State Po­lice leaves his or her po­si­tion, the Deputy Su­per­in­ten­dent re­signs as well to al­low a new Colonel to se­lect a sec­ond-in-com­mand of his or her own choos­ing.”

Whether an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion goes for­ward will be up to who­ever is tapped as the new per­ma­nent colonel, Pro­co­pio said. A spokes­woman for Gov. Char­lie Baker said he planned to “ap­point a new colonel soon.”

Lt. Col. Der­mot Quinn has been named in­terim com­man­der.

When Col. Ti­mothy Al­ben re­tired in 2015, his deputy, James Hanafin did, too — but not un­til weeks af­ter­ward. State po­lice even cel­e­brated Hanafin’s de­par­ture in a Face­book post la­beled “One Last Ride,” show­ing Hanafin rid­ing with the mounted unit and tak­ing in “the ma­jes­tic views at the state reser­va­tion” as he re­flected on his ca­reer.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Maura Healey has said she’s con­duct­ing a re­view of the al­le­ga­tions that McKeon or­dered a trooper to al­ter the ar­rest re­port of Alli Bibaud, the daugh­ter of Dud­ley District Court Judge Ti­mothy Bibaud. Alli Bibaud, 30, had told po­lice her fa­ther was a judge, that she had per­formed sex acts to ob­tain the drugs, and sug­gested “she would of­fer sex­ual fa­vors in re­turn for le­niency.”

Baker has since closed his own re­view of the al­le­ga­tions, af­ter or­der­ing the state po­lice to “ex­am­ine” its pro­ce­dures on re­view­ing po­lice re­ports. His of­fice said yes­ter­day it had no plans to pro­duce a for­mal re­port on its probe.

State Sen. Michael O. Moore, chair­man of the Leg­is­la­ture’s Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Safety, said he wants in­for­ma­tion from Baker, and called it “pre­ma­ture” for the Leg­is­la­ture to or­ga­nize an over­sight hear­ing.

“If we are go­ing to do some­thing, I’d rather give the ad­min­is­tra­tion time to do their due dili­gence, to look into it and hope­fully come back to the Leg­is­la­ture with some­thing for us to re­view,” Moore said. “The point of an over­sight hear­ing is not to em­bar­rass the ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

State po­lice and prose­cu­tors have de­fended the de­ci­sion to scrub the re­port. McKeon said he had or­dered ed­its to re­ports “more times than I can re­mem­ber,” and Worcester District At­tor­ney Joseph Early said the com­ments left Alli Bibaud — who once worked in his of­fice — “at risk from prej­u­di­cial pre­trial pub­lic­ity.”

But sev­eral of the state’s other district at­tor­neys said they’ve rarely had state or lo­cal po­lice go to the court seek­ing to redact a re­port so as not to prej­u­dice the de­fen­dant. Prose­cu­tors in Suf­folk, Es­sex, Ply­mouth and Nor­folk coun­ties all said the prac­tice isn’t rou­tine in their of­fices.

“That is not a com­mon prac­tice,” said Car­rie Kim­ball Mon­a­han, a spokes­woman for the Es­sex District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

STAFF FILE PHOTO, LEFT, BY NANCY LANE; AP FILE PHOTO, RIGHT

‘NOT A COM­MON PRAC­TICE’: The Bay State’s top troop­ers, Col. Richard McKeon, left, and Deputy Su­per­in­ten­dent Fran­cis Hughes, right, have stepped down amid a scrubbed ar­rest re­port scan­dal. State Sen. Michael O. Moore said it would be ‘pre­ma­ture’ for the Leg­is­la­ture to or­ga­nize a over­sight com­mit­tee, while Worcester DA Joseph Early de­fended the top troop­ers’ de­ci­sion.

JOSEPH EARLY

MICHAEL O. MOORE

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