It seems like every week, another hack state judge goes down in shame and disgrace.
And if it’s not some unemployable judge, it’s his or her spouse — just ask Hingham District Court judge Heather Bradley.
She’s married to one Garrett Bradley, an ex-state rep from Hingham who in 2010 engineered her appointment by then-Gov. Deval Patrick, despite Heather’s less than minimal qualifications.
At the time, she was making $47,000 a year in the forfeitures division of the Plymouth District Attorney’s Office. It’s the equivalent position to peeling potatoes in a restaurant kitchen.
After her fourth pay raise in the past 18 months earlier this month, Heather now makes $184,694 a year.
Which is fortunate for her, because Garrett appears to be in a world of hurt, legally speaking. Last week, a court-appointed special master, a retired federal judge, issued a report on $75 million Garrett Bradley’s law firm and two others got in a class-action settlement involving State Street Bank.
Judge Gerald Rosen found the judge’s husband “guilty of professional misconduct” by overbilling and referred his alleged lies to the state Board of Bar Overseers “for consideration of appropriate discipline.”
Try not to let this destroy your faith in the integrity of both the Massachusetts General Court and the state judiciary, but there is apparently also an ongoing federal criminal investigation.
Here are a few of the choice descriptions Judge Rosen has for the judge’s husband and his sworn statements in his almost 400-page report:
“Palpably false … blatant falsehoods … nothing ‘inadvertent’ … knowingly false. … Simply not true … (made statements) knowing they were false … sworn misrepresentations … not accurate … factual misrepresentations … outright concealment of facts … all of these statements are factually untrue … wholly misleading.”
Other than that, the Democratic lawmaker was extremely truthful and honest under oath.
Through the trial court spokesman, I asked Judge Bradley for a statement on her husband’s alleged misconduct. She declined to comment.
The fact is, Heather Bradley had no business ever becoming a judge. Even the Governor’s Council, that “hock shop,” as James Michael Curley once aptly described it, balked at approving someone so utterly unqualified.
But Mr. and Mrs. Bradley wanted the big paycheck for the 35-week “work” year, behind which comes the six-figure pension and full health care for life. A state judgeship is early retirement, and 99 percent of state judges could never dream of making $184,000 anywhere else, or even $84,000 for that matter.
At the State House, Bradley was as dodgy as they come. He’s a triple Eagle — BC High, BC, BC Law. A regular Billy Bulger type, in other words.
He was first elected in 2000, so he missed out on serving under convicted felon Speaker Charlie Flaherty (income tax evasion). But he learned his trade well under Speakers Felon Finneran (obstruction of justice), Sal DiMasi (bribery) and Robert DeLeo (unindicted co-conspirator).
As for Mrs. Bradley, even after Garrett put the fix in, Heather was going to be turned down by the Governor’s Council on a 4-4 tie vote.
After the roll call, it was left to yet another soon-to-be extinguished Democrat statesman to break the tie — Lt. Gov. Tim “Crash” Murray, months before he mysteriously crashed his state car at dawn talking on his cellphone while going 108 mph in his pajamas.
Now Judge Rosen wants Garrett Bradley’s law firm to pay back between $400,000 and $1 million. Not to mention his other … problems.
But wherever hubby ends up, Heather keeps her snout buried in the public trough for another 20-plus years.