BOSTON The Middlesex district attorney defended her decision to withhold more than half a report about how her office handled the case against Jared Remy, who had been arrested on charges of assaulting his girlfriend two days before he killed her.
Marian Ryan released 16 pages of the report in May, but held back 19 pages, The Boston Globe reported Friday. The Globe made a public request for the complete report after receiving a tip that pages were missing.
Remy, the son of Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, pleaded guilty in May to killing Jennifer Martel and was sentenced to life in prison.
The report’s missing pages included summaries of interviews with prosecutors and victim advocates, as well as the table of contents, making it impossible for the public to know some portions were excluded.
“When I elect to release something that I haven’t been compelled to release, it’s fully in my discretion to release what I’m going to release,” Ryan said.
She said she withheld the summary of interviews with employees, who are identified in the report only by title, because she had told them to speak openly to the lawyers conducting the review.
“I asked members of my staff to speak freely, to speak candidly, to have no fears of any repercussions about anything they said,” she said, adding that she did not want to violate their trust.
Ryan commissioned the independent report after her office was criticized because prosecutors did not request bail when Remy was arrested on charges that he assaulted Martel two days before her death.
The state’s open records law makes it clear that a government agency that withholds parts of a requested public document must state what was withheld and why, said Robert Bertsche, chair of the media law group at Prince Lobel Tye in Boston. By not revealing what was withheld from the full report, she could be seen as misleading the public, Bertsche said.
“Put the law aside, it sounds like a lack of candor on the part of a public official to say the least,” he said.