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Breaking News: The Southeastern Regional School Committee is holding a special executive session on Thursday at 6:30 PM to address the blogs we’ve published on Chairman Tony Branch. The blogs include court documents showing that a judge found it credible that Branch had sex with a 15 year old girl. This is a result of dozens of emails sent by concerned parents to School Committee members (including several that I was CC’d on) in the 9 town district about how a man who lost close to a dozen judgments against creditors for tens of thousands of dollars, and who had a lien placed on his house for not paying $42K in taxes, would be placed in charge of a $25 million school budget. Other allegations include:
- Impregnating the underage woman before marrying her
- Shacking up with a vulnerable woman named Lashaun Middleton with a criminal record and a young baby, who he had just met on the Internet
- Having orders placed against him by two his children, their mother, his ex-wife, the woman he shacked up with, and the man who he accused of having sex with his ex-wife
- Gun charges filed on him and violating an abuse prevention order
- Lying about being a bishop when he admittedly wasn’t
- Telling several contradictory stories about who ordained him as a minister and when
- Turning his house into a church, which would mean its exempt from paying taxes
- Defrauding the government to get Section 8
- Trying to defraud DCF for benefits
- Attempting to defraud an insurance company
- Claiming to be a Christian Minister while also going as a Muslim named Anthony Malik Shabazz
- Abusing the court system to silence people who criticize him
Please contact the other members to share your concerns.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Tony’s ex-wife Evelyn on Friday. She had a lot to say, and made the following allegations about Tony Branch:
- He doesn’t have any churches he’s under, he was never ordained as a bishop, but because he was a pastor in more than 1 church (his house, and his aunt’s house) he feels free to call himself a Bishop.
- He doesn’t go to church to this day, and only sees his youngest child every other weekend.
- He was still dating Alicia Kennerly (the mother of 2 of his children) when he began molesting Evelyn at the age of 14. Evelyn was his daughter Ronecia’s friend. He freaked out when confronted about it and told Evelyn to keep her mouth shut.
- He accused Kennerly of sleeping with another man, waved his gun at her, and she got an order on him. He was also allegedly physical with her and his newest girlfriend Lashaun Middleton.
- He didn’t put her name on the deed to the house because he knew it was going to end badly and didn’t want to hurt her credit, which he would need moving forward.
- He was a serial scammer who forged court, tax, and identity documents, including the name Toney Shabazz, to run up credit card bills.
- His oldest daughter with Evelyn is now 14 and no longer visits him. She sees a therapist and Evelyn thinks he might’ve done something to her.
- Evelyn never slept with Antonio Harris, the man Branch accused her of having an affair with. He lied about getting camera footage from the Holiday Inn Express in Braintree, which he would have no access to. It was just another one of his scams. Harris was her boss at the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. Branch asked her to “pull a Lewinsky” and say that Harris used his position of authority to coerce her into having sex, so that they could sue the state. He then began to harass Harris to the point of Harris getting a harassment prevention order placed on him.
- Branch forged a fake Bachelor’s Degree from a college that no longer exists in order to get hired at Mass General Hospital.
- Branch was fired from MGH in 2015 for overseeing an overtime fraud scheme.
- Branch has no degree from any sort of theological institution.
- Church services at their home on Montello Street in Brockton were not attended by anyone but immediate family.
- Branch used to be a constable, carries a fake badge from that, and has a fake sticker on his car that he uses to get out of tickets.
- Lashaun Middleton was 22 when she moved in with him in 2015, and Branch told her he was a 35 year old many named Toney Shabazz. She realized it wasn’t him when she was pulled over one day in his car and had to give police his registration. This prompted her to reach out to Evelyn Wiggins.
- When Branch found out in 2015 that Lashaun Middleton was talking to Evelyn he disconnected her phone and wouldn’t let them talk. Evelyn called the police for a wellness check.
- Wiggins’ son still goes on visits with Branch and reportedly told his mother that he is grooming, or having a relationship with a 17 year old girl, who he “teaches law” to, because she believes he’s some sort of legal expert.
This is a message Lashaun Middleton wrote to Evelyn Wiggins in 2017, which contained screenshots of text messages from the man she thought was Toney Shabazz, who she later got an order on. The alleged man of God threatened to press criminal charges on her, belittled her by calling her a “prostitute, stripper, threesome, and unstable cocaine sniffing alcohol drinking demon” before once again invoking God’s wrath against her.
Middleton got him arrested in 2015 when she alerted police to the fact that he had ammunition in the house, which violated the court order Wiggins had on him. Last March Branch posted videos and pictures of himself shooting guns, which is completely normal behavior for an alleged Bishop.
I was also made aware that Tony Branch was foreclosed on his 25 Montello Street home in 2017, but has remained squatting at the property ever since.
In 2019 the bank sold the property to a Boston man named Roberto Cardoso, who has been unable to get him off the property. Branch has directly benefitted from COVID restrictions that made it harder for landlords to remove tenants from their property.
Branch is masquerading as a well respected citizen, despite the fact that he has now been exposed. Yesterday he hosted a panel with State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz on his Facebook page. On Sunday he did his normal radio show on WVBF Radio in Taunton with cohost Ed Miler.
Branch addressed the allegations on the air, which he laughed off as no big deal, and shared on his Facebook page.
In response to the allegations that he is not a Bishop:
“What does it mean for me to be a Pentecostal? What does it mean to been a part of the Islamic faith? And I say to people that this country does not have a litmus test with respect to religion of private citizens. Yes, I’m a private citizen. A person’s religion is no one’s business.”
But he’s not a private citizen. In our lawsuit the judge ruled that he’s a limited public figure. He has run for Mayor, City Council, and Governor’s Council. He speaks at public meetings and refers to himself as Bishop Tony Branch. Your religion is other people’s business when you’re using the cloth to legitimize yourself in public debate.
In 2018 a community activist named John Williams publicly confronted him at a Brockton Diversity Committee hearing (which he serves as the chairman on) about being a fake Bishop. Instead of showing his credentials Branch cancelled the meeting. He accused Williams of being racist, even though Williams is black, and said the next meeting wouldn’t happen until members came on a retreat with him. Branch also admitted that he retired from the clergy in 2013, but still calls himself a Bishop to this day.
Tony Branch, the chairman of the Diversity Commission, an advisory board re-established by the mayor in 2016, cited a “disruptive display” and the badmouthing of a Brockton resident’s character as the reason not to hold the meeting. Branch said he did not believe the commission was yet ready to meet again, and said he wants to hold a one-day retreat with fellow members to allow them to reconnect and move forward in a positive manner.
Branch also took fire during the April meeting from a member of the public, John Williams, who questioned why Branch claims a religious leadership title of “bishop.” Williams confronted Branch about a testy social media interaction between the two about the prior meeting. Williams, who was on the Diversity Commission in 2009, said he was appalled by how Branch is operating the public board.
“It was being run like it was being run by a 10-year-old,” said Williams, speaking recently with The Enterprise. “What is the Diversity Commission doing? I see a lot of back and forth in the media and on Facebook. But I haven’t seen any actual work or actions toward diversifying the city.”
Williams also claimed that Branch reported him to police for allegedly making a threatening comment during their prior social media exchange.
“I guess he was trying to get me arrested, saying I was threatening him,” said Williams, who runs a mentoring business in the city. “I was telling him don’t make any cute videos or posts about this. If you feel some type of way about me, just see me in person. It wasn’t anything threatening. … The police treated it like it should be, like a joke, and moved on.”
Williams also pointed out that Branch is still a defendant in a criminal case for July 9, 2015, Brockton police charges of possession of ammunition without an FID card and violating an abuse prevention order. Branch’s next court date is June 7 for a pretrial session for a motion to suppress, according to a public docket report. Branch has denied any wrongdoing in the case, claiming a “pattern of false allegations” against him, and a plea of not guilty has been entered.
Branch said it was offensive to be questioned about his claim to have been a bishop. Branch often goes by “Bishop Tony Branch,” and had the word “bishop” on his campaign signs, when running for City Council last year. Branch told The Enterprise that he retired from the clergy in 2013, but declined to state what church with which he was affiliated. Branch, who is also a School Committee member for Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, said he currently works as a consultant.
“People are going to do and say what they want to say,” Branch said. “I’ve been a faith leader across this state for 30 years. … That’s kind of ridiculous. I’m Tony Branch, whether I’m a pastor or a bishop. I’m still a civil rights leader. I’m still advocating for people. That’s ridiculous. … As you and I both know, my status as a faith leader is cemented.”
Branch added that it was a “disgusting insinuation,” and even racially biased, to ask him about his claims to a religious leadership position.
“I don’t think that would happen to a person who is not black,” he said.
Williams, who is African-American, said he just wanted to know Branch’s credentials.
“It wasn’t so much as calling him a fake bishop, but asking, ‘Where is his congregation?'” Williams said.
Tony Branch is a serial liar who cannot keep his lies straight. One of the great conmen of our times, and he belongs in jail.
Brother Branch also talked about his foreclosure, which he calls an “illegal foreclosure,” even though it was completely legal and a court ruled against him.
His cohost Ed Miller accused the victim of lying, and said he doubted the story because the Brockton Enterprise and Boston Globe didn’t look into the woman’s allegations.
We reached out to Ed Miller for comment about why he’s smearing a 15 year old victim of sexual abuse in such a manner, but he has not gotten back to us. Likewise Southeastern Regional High School blocked us on social media because we asked questions. Feel free to flood their page to demand why this school is covering for a man like this.
These weren’t just allegations. The judge in his divorce deemed that it was NOT credible that Branch waited until she was 18 to have sex with her. In those same court documents he admitted to calling himself a Bishop when he wasn’t one.
Branch didn’t realize these documents were public and texted his ex-wife asking for her to agree to impound them in order to prevent the public from seeing what kind of person he really is.
She contacted us instead.
I may or may not be attending the School Committee meeting in Easton on Thursday night. Stay tuned.