Colonel Richard McKeon, the superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, retired Friday amid allegations he ordered a trooper to alter the arrest report of a judge's daughter.
In a letter to the police department, McKeon said the past few days have been "difficult" for him.
"I have today decided that putting the greater good of the Massachusetts State Police first, necessitates my decision to retire after 35 years of proud service," McKeon wrote.
The controversy stems from a lawsuit filed by a state trooper who alleges that top police commanders ordered him to remove details from an arrest report that could have embarrassed a judge.
Last month, Trooper Ryan Sceviour arrested Alli Bibaud for driving under the influence. Bibaud is the daughter of Dudley District Court Judge Timothy Bibaud. Sceviour's initial arrest report said Bibaud told officers she got the drugs in exchange for sex. The report also said Bibaud claimed her father was a judge and offered Sceviour sex in exchange for leniency.
The lawsuit alleges that two days after the arrest, Sceviour was told by top police officials to remove the references to sex and Bibaud's father. Sceviour says he was told the changes were "ordered by the colonel," which he took to mean McKeon.
State police have admitted that Sceviour was asked to remove details from the report but say those details were not relevant to the crimes with which Bibaud was charged.
McKeon defended his actions Friday in a letter to Public Safety Secretary Daniel Bennett.
"My decision to instruct subordinates to focus the arrest report on information relevant to the charges made against this individual without compromising the strength of the case is instruction that I have given to the men and women under my command more times than I can remember," McKeon wrote.
Gov. Charlie Baker said earlier this week that the matter was under review. He reiterated that again Friday afternoon. When asked at a press conference earlier in the day if he still had confidence in McKeon, Baker responded, "when we finish the review we'll make decisions with respect to all the issues around both policy and anything else that needs to be taken care of."
After McKeon announced his retirement, Baker said he believes the colonel made a mistake.
"The Governor believes that Colonel McKeon made a mistake by getting involved in the Bibaud case and has ordered the State Police to examine procedures for the review of arrest reports," the governor's spokeswoman Lizzy Guyton said in a statement.
At an event Friday evening, Baker said he did not ask McKeon to resign.
McKeon's retirement is effective November 17. An announcement on his successor is expected in the coming days.
With additional reporting by the WBUR Newscast Unit
This article was originally published on November 10, 2017.
This segment aired on November 10, 2017. The audio for this segment is not available.