Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The new State Police Union Boss resigns


The new (replacement) union boss Mark Lynch voted no at an executive board meeting to funding Pullman’s defense costs which the union has already paid 900,00.00. Lynch said the union could be paying another 600,000 to 1 million dollars and was worried the union could not afford it. Lynch said “we as an organization, are at one of the lowest points in our history in terms of public perception, political power and stature”.        Most aware residents would agree imo. I wonder what their union dues are?

From the Globe:
Danny McDonald
 
Facing a recall vote this week from his union, the head of the State Police Association of Massachusetts resigned Monday, the latest leadership change to roil one of the state’s most powerful labor unions.
Sergeant Mark Lynch cited conflict with the union’s executive board in a letter sent to the 1,900-member union, which represents State Police troopers and sergeants.
“Due to the direction that the E-board has taken and continues to take, I can no longer serve as president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts and will be resigning effective September 16, 2019,” Lynch wrote.
Lynch took the position as union president last year and succeeded Dana Pullman, who had resigned amid a federal probe into possible illegal reimbursement of campaign donations by union members. Pullman was indicted last week on a host of federal charges, including racketeering and conspiracy, and could face decades behind bars if convicted. Through an attorney, he has denied the charges.
In his Monday letter, Lynch, who was supposed to rebuild the union’s reputation after Pullman’s resignation, said he knew when he accepted the position that it would be a “daunting task,” referring to a “perfect storm of scandal, allegations and mismanagement.” Lynch, however, has faced a crisis of confidence in recent weeks, with more than 500 union members signing a petition calling for his removal. The recall vote was slated for this Wednesday.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Another Trooper who had prior violations


From the Globe:
by Matt Rocheleau

This case exemplifies the need for a top to bottom review of the State Police. This guy should never be a cop carrying a gun in this State or any other. Good thing no one was killed in this latest accident.

 A Massachusetts State Police trooper racked up a number of driving violations, crashes, and citizens’ complaints in previous years before he allegedly got drunk while off duty in July and slammed his pickup truck into an SUV, seriously injuring three people, including another off-duty trooper.
Jason M. Welch’s past infractions included a 2007 incident in which he was stopped by a State Police trooper and cited for having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle while also speeding — driving 110 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone — in Shirley, according to his driving record and citations.
Welch was cited for speeding in three other cases between 2003 and 2007, two of which were by State Police, the records show. In two more instances during those years, he was cited for failing to stop or yield and not wearing a seat belt.
Ayer police records show Welch was cited again for speeding in 2009, but that violation does not appear on his state driving record.
Those infractions, all civil offenses, occurred when Welch was in his late teens and early 20s, before he entered the State Police Academy in late 2013.
But shortly after his arrival to the state’s largest law enforcement agency, Welch faced two additional complaints lodged by private citizens within a three-month span in 2015 for tailgating other vehicles in his department-issued cruiser, according to a log of internal affairs cases.
Welch was also involved in two other crashes in his hometown in recent years, though neither resulted in any reported injuries.
In 2015, his Subaru Legacy hit a slushy area on the road in Ayer causing it to slide onto the other side of the road, where it collided head-on with a Dodge Durango driven by a Townsend woman, Ayer police records show. Both vehicles needed to be towed away.
In 2006, Welch failed to observe a sign along Mill Street and drove a 10-foot, 6-inch tall box truck into a bridge with a 9-foot, 6-inch clearance causing heavy damage to the vehicle, Ayer police records show.
State Police spokesman David Procopio said in an e-mail that the department conducted a background investigation on Welch in 2013, before he was admitted to the academy.
“Massachusetts State Police background investigators examine numerous components of candidates’ personal and professional histories, including their driving records,” Procopio said. “In cases where candidates incurred driving violations earlier in their lives, one mitigating factor that is considered is the nature of the infractions, the age of the candidate at the time of the infractions, and the length of time since the last violation.”
Procopio said the two tailgating complaints against Welch were resolved before rising to the level of a full internal investigation. “This is not uncommon for complaints of a relative minor alleged violation and when the complainant is amenable,” he said.
Welch’s most recent crash happened on July 21. The 35-year-old was arraigned Sept. 5 in Chicopee District Court on charges of operating under the influence of liquor causing serious bodily injury, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, operating under the influence of liquor, and failure to take care in stopping. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf, and he was released on his own recognizance.

The second chemist at the drug lab was never part of the original probe

This story never seems to end. The Inspector General didn't look at the other bad actor at the lab Sonja Farak who did much of the same thing lab chemist Annie Dookan did. The new revaluation could (which costs 6.2 million) negate another 11,000 drug cases. That doesn't include the 47,000 cases already dismissed.


From the Globe:
 by Maggie Mulvihill and Beverly Ford


In a revelation raising new questions about the scope and thoroughness of the state’s response to the Hinton drug lab scandal, the inspector general’s office has acknowledged it never investigated the work of a drug-abusing chemist who processed even more lab tests than her prolific disgraced co-worker, Annie Dookhan.
Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha’s office didn’t probe the conduct of chemist Sonja Farak at the William A. Hinton state laboratory in Jamaica Plain even though — amid its sweeping, $6.2 million probe into lab wrongdoing — Farak was arrested in 2013 and convicted the following year for stealing drug evidence at the state lab in Amherst, where she went to work after leaving Hinton in 2004.
The new revelation was included in a Sept. 5 filing with the Supreme Judicial Court in a pending heroin possession case when Special Assistant Attorney General Julia Bell Andrus, who is representing Cunha’s office in the case, said the agency “did not conduct an in-depth investigation specifically into the actions of Farak or any other individual” at Hinton.
State records from 2003 and 2004, when Dookhan and Farak both worked at the Hinton lab, indicate Farak’s testing regularly outpaced that of Dookhan, whose drug tampering resulted in her conviction in 2013 and approximately 20,000 criminal cases being dismissed.
The Middlesex district attorney’s office and the inspector general’s office are fighting a lower court order mandating that the DA scrutinize the IG’s massive investigative file to determine if it contains exculpatory evidence for the defendant in the heroin case, Eugene Sutton.
The inspector general’s office said in March 2014 that it had done an “exhaustive” review of work at the Hinton lab that included examining all management and operations to determine if any “chemists, supervisors or managers . . . committed any” misconduct that impacted the reliability of drug testing at the lab. The probe, spanning from 2002 to 2012, resulted in a 121-page report finding that Dookhan was the “sole bad actor” at the lab.