Worcester, MA – A Massachusetts State Trooper is suing his department for giving him a negative supervisory review for not following an unethical and possibly illegal order, as the department attempted to cover up embarrassing statements by a judge’s daughter.
Turtleboy Sports broke the story, which details some of the allegations about the behavior of the command staff.
The arrest occurred on Oct. 16 at around 7:40 p.m., after Trooper Ryan Sceviour arrived at a collision scene.
The trooper determined that he had probable cause to arrest Alli Bibaud for driving under the influence of drugs, and being in possession of heroin.
When she was arrested, Bibaud said, “Do you know how many people I had to blow to get that?” according to Turtleboy.
She also told Trooper Sceviour that she’d perform sex acts on him as well in exchange for leniency, according to Boston Globe.
Drug Recognition Expert Trooper Ally Rei conducted an evaluation, according to Turtleboy, and submitted a report with the quote about how Bibaud acquired her drugs.
The reason that the quote was included is obvious to anybody with any law enforcement training: it’s evidence.
Vulgar statements are evidence of impairment, and her statement also acknowledges ownership of the heroin, and heads off the infamous “these aren’t my pants” excuse.
The offer of sex acts in exchange for leniency is also a potential crime itself.
A day after Trooper Scevior’s report was filed, a trooper came to his house to summon him back to the barracks while Lieutenant James Fogarty left two voicemails on his phone telling him to immediately respond to the barracks on orders of Colonel Richard McKeon.
When he arrived with Sergeant Jason Conant, who initially approved the report, Lieutenant Fogarty told them that he had been ordered to write a negative supervisory observation report on them. But Lieutenant Fogarty told them that he didn’t think that they had done anything wrong.
They didn’t change their reports so the command staff did it for them.
They then met with Major Susan Anderson who told them the she also didn’t think that they had done anything wrong, but it was ordered by the Colonel.
After the incident, the department defended what happened as if it were normal business, making them at least complicit in the incident.
Massachusetts State Police Spokesman Dave Procopio defended the alteration of the report.
“It is not uncommon for report narratives to be revised. Usually it is handled at the level of a trooper’s immediate supervisor, i.e. usually a sergeant or a lieutenant. The trooper’s supervisor did not do so with this one so when it came to the attention of the colonel and senior command staff they did so themselves,” Procopio said in a statement.
Procopio’s statement continued, “In the report in question, the revision consisted only of removal of a sensationalistic and inflammatory directly-quoted statement by the defendant, which made no contribution to proving the elements of the crimes with which she was charged. Inclusion of an unnecessary sensationalistic statement does not meet the report-writing standards required by the department.”
This statement claims that the quote should never have been included, because it didn’t contribute to proving elements of the crimes. However, the quote not only contributes to proving impairment, but it wards off a possible defense.
When Blue Lives Matter asked Procopio to explain why a quote, which is, in fact, evidence, was removed from the report, he said that the quote was not necessary because enough evidence existed without it.
Indeed, the quote will likely have no impact on the prosecution. But excluding evidence is not how police reports are written.
It’s also exceptionally abnormal for senior command staff to alter a report.
While the alteration should have little impact on the prosecution, that leaves us to ask why senior command staff would take the extraordinary step to remove a criminal suspect’s embarrassing statement from a report, and then try to defend the situation.
Procopio said that the troopers didn’t actually face any discipline, they just had a note added in their files noting that the quote was changed.
A negative supervisor review may not directly fit under “discipline” but is the basis for the troopers to be disciplined or denied promotions in the future.
But the cover-up isn’t just within the Massachusetts State Police.
After it became apparent that the police department’s attempted cover-up failed, Worcester County assistant district attorney’s top lieutenant, Jeff Travers, made an oral motion to redact the parts of the report that Colonel McKean ordered to be changed, according to Boston Globe.
Bibaud’s father, Judge Tim Bibaud, denies having anything to do with the cover-up.
“I absolutely, vehemently deny making any contact with anybody,” he told Worcester Magazine.
But somebody with influence within the prosecutor’s office and state police ordered the changes to be made.
Alli Bibaud is being charged with operating under the influence of drugs, operating under the influence of liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and two other motor vehicle offenses, according to Procopio.
Do you think that the alteration of the report was an ethical issue? Do you think that the agency’s leadership is complicit, if not involved directly? We’d like to hear from you. Please let us know your thought in the comments.