What the Brady List Should Mean to You – 30 Medford Officers on Middlesex D.A. Marian Ryan’s Blacklist
by Joe Viglione
Your civil rights include the right to be protected by honest members of the police force. Living like the worst elements of the film L.A. Confidential are happening in the year 2020 in Medford is unacceptable and the clean-up must be immediate. That the new mayor, Breanna Lungo-Koehn, took on the police chief in October 2019, 5 weeks before she won election, is the hope that she can clean house and give Medford residents the reason to trust these public servants.
Here’s the deal – Medford police have always been on thin ice since the betrayal of the Depositor’s Trust robbery, Memorial Day weekend in May, 1980. See the story here: https://tinyurl.com/clementerobbery Rather than be squeaky clean and hold themselves to the highest standards possible, we have a national news story on Stephen Lebert, former Medford cop, threatening to blow the brains out of a Malden resident. See horrifying video here: https://tinyurl.com/threatlebert Why citizens are terrified of the Medford police. That was a national news story that showed how horribly former Chief Sacco made things worse by covering for Lebert on too many occasions.
On October 1, 2019 the new Medford Chief of Police, John D. Buckley spoke to the Medford city council in a slow and methodical speech proclaiming with zero evidence “You have to have a little faith that we’re doing the right thing.” 57:35 on the city council video found here: https://tinyurl.com/buckley2019oct1 “Trust…I committed to working on public trust when I became chief of police.” 1:15:35 in on the same video.
The expectation is that forty years after the infamous Depositor’s Trust robbery in 1980 Medford residents could feel safe and secure yet a city councilor responded to the police chief “They’re too afraid to speak up.” 1:14:12. That councilor is now the Mayor of Medford, elected a month and four days after this hearing. See video and note that time here: https://tinyurl.com/buckley2019oct1
Chief Buckley responded to that with more distractions and untruths: “I’ve spoken with a number of people in the public…since this happened. I’ve received overwhelming support (JV notes: the opposite of what the soon-to-be-mayor is telling the chief, that the public is afraid to speak up!) …for the way it’s been handled. Nobody should be afraid, nobody’s ever expressed that they’re afraid and in fear of this police department (totally incorrect with the information I have heard – one huge example is the Lebert video above https://tinyurl.com/threatlebert – JV) …there’s no reason to be.” 1:16:29 on city council 10/1/19 video
Let me repeat – this speech by the new police chief about nobody expressing that they are afraid is after a national news store that chilled the nation, the video of Stephen Lebert threatening to blow a man’s brains out. Everyone fears the Medford Police Dept. and with good reason, as captured on camera.
That’s the foundation for this story on compensation fraud committed by almost a quarter of the police force, forty years after the biggest robbery in Medford history, fifteen million dollars allegedly – more or less – from the Depositor’s Trust.
There were 27 officers that City Hall wouldn’t talk about until I forced their hand via the Freedom of Information Act and got the documents they were refusing to let the public see.
On February 10, 2020 the list the DA’s office sent me included three additional Medford police officers beyond the twenty-seven contained in the L’Italien Report on the compensation fraud which we obtained in November of 2019.
Out of 117 officers on the “Middlesex District Attorney’s List of Law Enforcement Officers Subject to Discovery Notices 2013 to February 10, 2020” – also known as the Brady list of the past seven years – the unfortunate truth for Medford is that thirty officers on the list makes Medford the worst offender. The State police and the Lowell police are tied for second with thirteen each, Somerville with a dozen and Framingham with 5 round out the disreputable Top 5. But the Medford Police Department has more blacklisted officers than any other city or town in Middlesex County.
Here are the thirty Medford officers on the current Middlesex D.A.’s Brady list: MEDFORD in alphabetical order: 1)Jordan Cannava 2)Mark Cardarelli 3)Joseph Casey 4)Frank Cassarino 5)Guy Champa 6)Elizabeth Chiribi 7)Kevin Conway 8)Frank Cugliata
9)Daniel D’Amico 10)Barbara DiCristofaro 11)Donald DiMare 12)Derek Doherty 13)Patrick Doherty 14)Hugh Duffy 15) Robert Furtado
16)James Grubb 17)Charles Harnet (Hartnett) 18)Richard Iozza 19)Matthew Jones 18)Miguel Lopez 19)Matthew Martin
20)Shawna McNeill 21)Jason Montalbano 22)Shawn Norton 23)David Olsen 24)Robert Passacantili 25)Mike Pellegrino
26)Angelo Raffaele 27)Robert Richard 28)Lawrence Rogers 29)Patrick Smith and 30)Igor Tomaz
Chief Buckley’s alleged “personnel issue” to try to spin this in a positive light was eradicated by the release of the 64 page L’Italien Report. It exposed Chief Buckley, the city lawyer and a majority of the city council as individuals engaged in a cover-up. And those involved with the attempt to keep information from the residents fractured the public trust. They didn’t think the citizens had the right to know the situation that 27 cops that would be blacklisted, and they wanted the public to have faith in a broken system. And as our new mayor noted on the video, “They’re too afraid to speak up.”
Police Chief Buckley further insulted the intelligence of Medford citizens and those watching by repeating something off of the Medford Police website: ” These are all good men and women.” The firestorm erupting was the allegation of compensation fraud involving almost a quarter of the Medford police. 27 officers were named in an explosive 64 page document from Pembroke private investigator Paul L’Italien, a retired member of the Massachusetts State Police after 27 years of service.
This writer requested the L’Italien report and Medford City Hall – the now former city solicitor to be specific – went bonkers, kicking and screaming and writing and protesting and including in the correspondence cc: District Attorney Marian Ryan, two police officers, two lawyers…not wanting to hand over the document.
The ex solicitor’s skewed reasoning was that Marian Ryan was investigating – yet the police chief had already handed out the discipline and the monies were purportedly returned. My position was simple: doesn’t matter if 500 investigations are going on, the people have a right to the documents. In an October 24, 2019 letter from the Secretary of State’s office the determination in my favor was this: “The Public Records Law strongly favors disclosure by creating a presumption that all governmental records are public records.” This is key for anything anyone is requesting from a government in Massachusetts and at the core how this writer has prevailed on many occasions seeking documents that some city officials do not want the public to obtain and see.
Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn inherited this mess from the previous two administrations hell bent on denying the public its right to know, even though the public actually funds these individuals who violated the oath of office. Prior administrations, were intentionally secretive. Lungo-Koehn won the election in 2019 with a promise of integrity, unity, community, transparency and now Breanna has a big opportunity to shine.
THE GUN MAGAZINE FOUND IN A SCHOOL, FEBRUARY 2018
February 21, 2018 Fox 25 news reported that then-City Councilor Breanna Lungo-Koehn “says she notified police last week after multiple school employees brought the issue (discovery of a gun magazine in a Medford school) to her attention.” Lungo-Koehn was most proactive on this serious situation and this writer believes that it was one of the keys to her victory that made her mayor. Earlier in 2017 during my investigation into a Chapter 74 board at Medford High School I alerted Lungo Koehn, Councilor Michael Marks and School Committee person Mea Mustone (who garnered the second amount of votes in the last election under Lungo-Koehn) that this quasi Cable Advisory Committee under the moniker of a “Chapter 74” board had – in my opinion – violated the Open Meeting Law. I filed a complaint and the Attorney General’s office found that the OML was violated by former Mayor Burke and former Superintendent Belson’s Chapter 74 boad.. The first person to bring it to the public on the city council was Breanna Lungo-Koehn after I gave her the information. Which offers the public the evidence that the transparency Lungo-Koehn promotes is something that is part of her positive track record.
So the dilemma in February of 2020 is – how does a mayor with an eye toward open government deal with four decades of police corruption?
TO BE CONTINUED