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Massachusetts Trial Court officials and state police are defending their actions after a trooper filed suit alleging that top police commanders disciplined him and forced him to revise an arrest report for a judge's daughter.
In response to the suit filed Tuesday by Trooper Ryan Sceviour, state Trial Court officials say Dudley District Court Judge Timothy Bibaud never discussed the arrest of his daughter, Alli Bibaud, with court officials or state police.
“Judge Timothy M. Bibaud never communicated with or contacted the District Attorney, State Police or any other court officials to discuss this case,” District Court Chief Justice Paul Dawley said in a statement Wednesday.
The statement also said that a request to transfer Alli Bibaud’s case out of Worcester County was made right away to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest because her father is a judge in Worcester County. Bibaud’s case has been transferred to Framingham District Court.
Trooper Sceviour's lawsuit alleges that after he arrested Bibaud for driving under the influence near Worcester last month, he was told to revise the arrest report.
In the initial arrest report, Sceviour wrote that Bibaud told officers she got drugs in exchange for sex and she offered Sceviour sex in exchange for leniency.
Two days after Bibaud's arrest, the lawsuit alleges that a trooper came to Sceviour's house and took him to meet with top police officials. There, Sceviour says, he was told to falsify records and remove the references to sex and Bibaud's father so as not to embarrass the judge.
Sceviour says he was told that the changes were "ordered by the colonel" — which he presumes meant State Police Colonel Richard McKeon, who supervises the state police. The suit goes on to say that a state police major told Sceviour that he was being “ordered” to make the changes in the arrest report — an order that came from the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
The office's spokesman, Felix Browne, said in a statement that Public Safety Secretary Daniel Bennett "never asked nor was he ever asked to do anything with the police report in question. The first time he saw the police report was when it was referenced online."
Gov. Charlie Baker called the allegations “troubling" on Wednesday, and said he is still looking into the case.
State police admit that Sceviour was asked to remove details from the report that they say were not relevant to the crimes with which Bibaud was charged.
State Police spokesman David Procopio said the reprimand to Sceviour is not technically "discipline" and he emphasized that the initial charges against Bibaud are the same.
But Sceviour’s attorney called suggestions that the report was being revised because of its details “absurd,” insisting it was revised to protect a judge’s daughter.
“When was the last time the colonel got involved in a police report?" asked Sceviour’s attorney, Leon Kesten. “There was absolutely nothing wrong with his arrest report. Trooper Sceviour simply reported what he heard, and now he gets sanctioned? Because he treated her [Bibaud] the way he treats everyone else? Apparently the colonel wants connected people treated differently.”
A statement from state police said, "Supervisory members of the State Police, up to and including the Colonel, may review any report and have the responsibility to order any appropriate revisions. In the report in question, the revision consisted only of removal of a sensationalistic, directly-quoted statement by the defendant, which made no contribution to proving the elements of the crimes with which she was charged."
The statement also said, "The defendant remains charged — as she was initially 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 and she will be held accountable for those crimes based on the evidence collected by State Police."
Attorney Kesten said he plans to subpoena top state police officials and expects they will start providing depositions in the trooper’s lawsuit early next month.
With reporting by WBUR's Steve Brown
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