Two years ago we broke what is perhaps the biggest story since our inception, that many today call “Troopergate.” It was the story of Judge Tim Bibaud’s daughter Alli being arrested for a DUI and heroin possession by a state trooper in Holden. She asked Trooper Ryan Sceviour if he knew how many guys she had to perform oral sex on to get the drugs in her possession, and offered him sexual favors in exchange for leniency. Judge Bibaud’s friend Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early caught wind of this and told Colonel Richard McKeon that he wanted the arrest report scrubbed of the embarrassing quotes. When the troopers responsible refused they were punished, other troopers contacted us, we blogged about it, and this would lead to the resignations of McKeon, Deputy Superintendent Francis Hughes, Major Susan Anderson, and Lt. Colonel Dan Risteen.
Remarkably it was just Early who walked away unscathed, although his reputation was permanently damaged after AG Maura Healy’s conducted an investigation and discovered that McKeon was told by Early to redact the embarrassing quotes.
Early, according to both reports, had conversations with McKeon in which he asked the colonel what he was going to do about Bibaud’s arrest report and told him revisions could be made to the arrest report. Early also advised McKeon he was going to be filing a motion to redact the report. McKeon is quoted in Healey’s report as saying, “Well, it was after that I had the conversation with Joe Early, and all indications were that this was the appropriate thing to do. I must say that he was previously my boss. He’s the prosecuting district attorney in that county, and he was in charge of the prosecution of this case. And I was led to believe that everything that I was about to do was not only the right thing, but it was the appropriate thing to do.”
Early claimed that he routinely had random arrest reports like the one in Holden redacted. He claimed he had 91 examples of this, and wasn’t doing it as a favor to Bibaud, who he was good friends with. Except those 91 instances all involved murder cases in which confidential information about victims had to be redacted. He had never done this for a drug possession or DUI case.
Unlike McKeon, Joe Early was able to keep his job because he is elected and thus only accountable to the voters. McKeon can be fired at any time, and likely would’ve been. So it appeared as if Early would never face any sort of punishment for his crimes. Then this happened today:
The Massachusetts State Police and Worcester District Attorney Joesph Early Jr. have settled a lawsuit filed by a trooper who arrested a judge’s daughter in 2017 said the district attorney ordered him to scrub embarrassing details from the police report. Trooper Ryan Sceviour through his attorney Leonard Kesten filed the lawsuit first in federal court and then in Suffolk Superior Court in 2018. The lawsuit claimed that Early directed a conspiracy that sought to “unlawfully tamper with Court documents, to violate Trooper Ryan Sceviour’s rights, and to defame him.”
A settlement in the suit was filed Thursday, Kesten said. The settlement clears Sceviour of any wrongdoing and orders state police to pay Sceviour $35,000 and Early to pay $5,000.
“I have such admiration for this trooper. He refused to do anything different because she’s a judge’s daughter,” Kesten said over the phone Friday. “He did nothing wrong.”
The fact that Early agreed to pay $5,000 out of his own pocket is tantamount to an admission of guilt.
On a sidenote, it’s nice to see Lenny Kesten working for a client who actually deserved justice. He should stick to cases like that instead of embarrassing himself by taking on clients like Joe Curtatone so they can sue Kirk Minihane and Barstool Sports over a prank phone call.
I thought I lost faith in Massachusetts politics when Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown in 2012. Senator Brown was what so many people claim they want in a leader – a truly bipartisan, unconnected individual who isn’t afraid to reach across the aisle to get legislation passed. That’s what he did for two years in the Senate, and for that he was rewarded by losing to a Harvard professor who made $400,000 teaching a class and got her job by lying about being Native American.
But I didn’t truly lose faith in this state’s democratic process until Joe Early was elected by a 2 to 1 margin last November over independent candidate Blake Rubin. It was then that I realized just how dumb the electorate is in this state. Joe Early was openly corrupt and orchestrated the biggest scandal in State Police history. He covered up for his friend’s drug addicted daughter and had two good state troopers punished for doing their job. But none of that mattered because he’s the son of a Congressman and has a D next to his name in Massachusetts. It’s not a complete win, but it’s justice for Trooper Sceviour, and it’s an admission of guilt on Early’s part.
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