Hack in line for judgeship oversaw state police ‘professional standards’

This a tale of the Massachusetts State Police.

The first part of the story is disgraced Trooper Heath McAuliffe, sentenced yesterday to x months in prison for his role in the overtime abuse scandal roiling the department.

It is the worst of times for McAuliffe, but it is the best of times for the rich woman from Weston who claims to have been providing “strategic leadership” to the scandal-scarred State Police these last four years.

Jennifer Queally will be rubber stamped this afternoon by the Governor’s Council for a state district judgeship, lifting her salary above the current $171,360 a year she’s been making as one of the best-paid hack in the Baker-Polito regime.

But hey, she’s earned those black robes. According to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, she and her husband Kevin have donated $3,350 to her benefactor, Gov. Charlie “Tall Deval” Baker, $850 to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, $2,000 to other GOP worthies, as well as $925 to Marsha Coakley, a Democrat who might have become a future appointer of state judges.

It’s not surprising that the Governor’s Council will approve Queally’s nomination today. What’s odd, however, is that at her hearing at the State House last month none of the eight councilors had a single inquiry concerning what she bragged about in answering her required questionnaire – “provid(ing) stragetic leadership to the Office of Grants and Research, the Municipal Police Training Committee, and the Massachusetts State Police.”

This the same MSP where Heath McAuliffe worked 18 years before yesterday becoming the eighth ex-trooper to be sentenced to federal prison for embezzling money for paid details on the Mass Pike that he didn’t work.

“Almost all of my colleagues at Troop E were doing the same thing,” the crooked cop snitched last week to Judge Denise J. Casper, before adding that, “It really doesn’t matter that many other Troopers were doing the same thing, that our superior officers knew about it, or that only a handful of us were singled out for federal prosecution.”

All the MSP brass knew that crooked cops were running a multi-million-dollar racketeering enterprise? But nobody on the Governor’s Council had a single question for the woman who by her own account was basically running the show?

Among the new judge’s other stated duties as a Tall Deval hack were to “collaborate with local police to review and adopt professional standards for police officers.”

Fascinating. Among the state troopers on the job during Queally’s tenure was one Leigha Genduso, who once lived with a major drug kingpin, and who admitted in a federal courtroom to perjury, money-laundering, income tax evasion and drug trafficking.

After which Leigha was hired as a sworn officer of the MSP, and then almost immediately promoted to the elite K-9 unit, which of course had nothing to do with the fact that she was living with one of the top-ranking officers of the department, or having her photo taken repeatedly with Lt. Gov. Polito, who like Genduso is originally from Shrewsbury.

No one at the Governor’s Council or the Judicial Nominating Commission ever thought to inquire of future Judge Queally if she ever “collaborated” on any reviews of “professional standards” that allowed career criminals to join the ranks of the State Police?I guess that task fell outside of her “strategic leadership.”

Before she became the deputy secretary in 2015, she worked in the Worcester County District Attorney’s office for Joe Early Jr. Daniel Bennett, the first assistant DA, took her with him to the EOPS where they presided over the four most scandalous years in the history of the MSP.

These scandals included the MSP’s attempt in 2017 to broom the case of an admitted prostitute and drunk driver, whose father was another former employee of the Worcester DA’s office who had become a judge. This woman, Ali Bibeau, had also worked for DA Early, and her OUI case was initially handled by the son of another former state judge.

After the attempted cover up of the judge’s daughter’s case was revealed, the colonel, another former employee of the Worcester DA, and his two top underlings, one of whom was Leigha Genduso’s boyfriend, all retired with pensions of at least $150,000 a year.

This all occurred as Jennifer was providing her very special strategic leadership to the MSP.

Then there was the overtime abuse which led to the abolition of the corrupt Troop E on the Pike. At least eight troopers including McAuliffe are going to prison and losing their pensions.

Don’t forget the investigation of F Troop at Logan Airport, although that outfit still remains in operation, perhaps because they handled the initial brooming, I mean investigation of the alleged groping of a female Jet Blue passenger last summer by the governor’s son. (He was never charged, and the case was kicked upstairs to the US attorney’s office. The initial MSP report about Tall Deval Jr. remains confidential.)

And then of course, during her tenure, the MSP decided to destroy all its payroll records, even though the probe of overtime abuse was well under way. Even the Archdiocese of Boston and the FBI have never been that bold.

I know, none of this can be possibly the responsibility of the MSP’s strategic leader. She’s worked in the private sector – most recently as a waitress at the Belmont Country Club as late as 1995. Her husband is a “family wealth director” at Morgan Stanley and they live in a mansion on Young Road in Weston and have a vacation home as well.

And now Jennifer’s going onto the bench, and Trooper McAuliffe’s going to the can.

Moral of story: if you have a choice of jobs at the MSP, forget about becoming a trooper, instead opt for “strategic leader.” It’s a lot safer, in more ways than one.

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