Complaint filed against former Plymouth County prosecutors in arson case

Two former Plymouth County prosecutors face potential discipline over the way they handled a murder case, including sending racist emails to each other about the defendant.

The Office of Bar Counsel has filed a petition for discipline against former Plymouth assistant district attorneys John Bradley and Karen O'Sullivan. The petition alleges that Bradley and O'Sullivan engaged in misconduct in prosecuting the case of Frances Choy. She was convicted of murder and arson charges, after her parents were killed in a fire at their Brockton home in 2003.

Choy's criminal convictions were vacated in 2020, after the defense brought forward  the racist emails and questioned whether the prosecutors properly disclosed potentially exculpatory evidence. The petition for discipline says the prosecutors' misconduct "was prejudicial to the administration of justice" and caused the court to vacate Choy's criminal convictions.

The petition for discipline, which goes to the state Board of Bar Overseers, contains copies of emails between Bradley and O'Sullivan that are disparaging to Choy and her nephew, Kenney Choy, who was living in the Brockton home at the time of the fire. The petition also says the prosecutors did not properly divulge Kenney Choy's arrest on drug charges and a police report that said Kenny Choy had run away from home and was selling drugs.

The Board of Bar Overseers will now review the complaint and determine if sanctions are warranted. Any recommended discipline from the Board would have to be approved by the state Supreme Judicial Court.

O'Sullivan is currently a prosecutor in the Bristol County District Attorney's Office. Bradley still has an active legal license, according to the Board of Bar Overseers, and has a Boston address listed.


Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.



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