Above image: Barnstable Police Chief Paul MacDonald
HN NOTES: HN has been closely following this very active ongoing investigation into local police corruption. Several months ago, members of the Barnstable Police Department came forward to HN with alarming concerns regarding ongoing corruption and harassment related to the current Barnstable Police Administration under Chief Paul Macdonald.
Allegations ranged from unfair hiring/promotional practices… to tampering with evidence… and internal intimidation practices, perpetrated by a small number of privileged sworn police officers and administrators.
HN has, in fact, found evidence of questionable promotional practices, internal affairs coverups, and double standards related to cases when certain police officers were suspected of wrong doing.
In one recent case, in the fall of 2016, a Barnstable Police sergeant left a loaded high capacity firearm in a restaurant bathroom, where it was eventually found by a 10-year-old boy. The boy alerted his father and was not harmed. That sergeant was not charged with that crime, which is a felony, and is still listed on the Barnstable Police personnel roster, leading some to question why other members of the public have been charged criminally under similar circumstances.
In another case, a confidential informant told HN that a Barnstable Police lieutenant reported for duty intoxicated last fall and was ordered by the deputy chief to take a breathalyzer test before being sent home. The lieutenant is still on active patrol and in charge of patrol officers, leading many to question why many other officers have been relieved of duty for similar problems… and many are also concerned the current administration is in fact enabling harmful behavior and alcohol abuse among certain privileged officers struggling with stress related issues.
And there are many other cases where members of the department allege other blatant double standards and unfair hiring/promotional practices, where positions have been specially created for favorite individuals in bed with the current police admin.
There were so many concerns, Barnstable Town Manager Mark Ells initiated a private internal investigation into the police department. HN spoke with Ells over a month ago and he believed the investigation would be efficient and swift. But according to sources, the investigation is progressing very slowly, like molasses flowing uphill on a cold winter day… while one confidential informant compared the suffering department to a “ship without a rudder.” For some, the work environment has been described as hostile. Over the past week, HN has been leaving phone messages, trying to get answers from Ells regarding the progress of the private investigation…
… and I’m still waiting to hear back.
According to sources, former Tewksbury Police Chief Alfred P. Donovan is the person hired by the Town of Barnstable to be in charge of the so-called private investigation into corruption within the BPD Admin… but there is a major problem with that recent revelation… (other than concerns that Donovan may actually somehow be related to a member of the BPD admin… those concerns are also being looked into by HN…)
In a 2016 article by the Eagle Tribune, entitled “Former chief quashed internal investigation, now consults on same,” many alarming potential conflicts regarding Donovan are exposed.
The article strongly points out that Donovan’s business which privately handles internal police investigations and promotion testing has been called into question.
In 2004, then Tewksbury Police Chief Donovan reviewed an internal affairs investigation on his own department, where one of his dispatchers was accused of a sexual assault. In that case, Chief Donavan determined there was “insufficient evidence” to prove or disprove one of the victim’s claims … and that the more serious allegation of “misconduct” was also unfounded.
Three years later, according to the Eagle Tribune, “that dispatcher was convicted of assault to rape and indecent assault and battery for that very complaint, and sentenced to more than two years in prison.”
“The dispatcher was Donovan’s brother-in-law, Neil McLaughlin,” the article continues.
Chief Donovan retired from the force in 2009… and the female sexual assault victim won an undisclosed payment in a civil lawsuit against Donovan and the Town of Tewksbury in 2010.
The Eagle Tribune article points out, “most general best practices and standards recommendations urge police to avoid conflicts of interest, or the appearance of conflicts of interest.”
HN has, in fact, learned of numerous conflicts of interest, or appearances of conflicts of interest, within the Barnstable Police Administration.
HN has been patiently waiting to write about those numerous conflicts, and will do so in due time…
… but the Barnstable Town Manager says they are investigating and HN just learned that former Tewksbury Police Chief Donovan is the one in charge. So, what could go wrong?
We will just have to wait to see if things are on the “up-and-up…”
… but try not to hold your breath as this entire mess slowly unfolds.
Remember, watching molasses running uphill is always a slow frustrating process. (Good thing it’s not winter… 😉 )