Maura Healey teeing up Dean Tran
Is it okay to describe Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey as a tran-phobe?
Not as a transphobe, you understand, but as a tran-phobe, as in Dean Tran, the former GOP state senator from Fitchburg and now Congressional candidate against US Rep. Lori Trahan.
After almost eight years as AG, Maura has finally found a local politician she wanted to indict – and in an incredible coincidence, her first target ever happens to be both a Republican and the guy who is running against Trahan, one of Maura’s most vocal proponents.
Which is why Tran is seeking a temporary restraining order against Maura’s apparent initial prosecution of a politician.
“Mr. Tran is the first elected official whom AG Healey has prosecuted in her seven-year tenure as Attorney General,” Tran states in the federal lawsuit he’s filed to halt his state prosecution for a raft of crimes involving a murky firearms transaction in 2019 with an elderly constituent.
This story about the botched sale broke just before the 2020 election, after which Tran was defeated for re-election. Three years later, it’s now conveniently resurfaced, just five weeks after his opponent endorsed Maura Healey.
“The indictment of Mr. Tran was a quid pro quo for Congresswoman Trahan’s endorsement,” his lawyer says in paragraph 59 of the complaint.
A quid pro quo? Now that’s a serious allegation. I asked both Healey and Trahan to respond. When the phone didn’t ring, I knew it was Maura. But Trahan’s flack got back to me, pronto:
“This is ludicrous. Dean Tran has a long history of abusing his power. That was true when he was run out of office by Beacon Hill Republicans, and it’s true today. We have no further comment on an individual so ethically corrupt that he’s facing jail time for stealing a firearm from an elderly constituent.”
To which Tran pleaded “absolutely not guilty” at his arraignment Thursday in Worcester Superior Court.
By the way, Tran is first-generation Vietnamese-American. That makes him a person of color. So he says Maura’s prosecution is “racially motivated.”
Tran’s problems obviously don’t rise to the level of historic Democrat persecution of minorities, but do you recall the name of Sonja Farak?
She was a drug-addicted, corrupt state chemist who falsified criminal drug tests for hundreds of defendants in drug cases. Farak was ingesting the evidence, and then concocting false reports about the drugs, thus railroading untold numbers of accused dealers into prison on bogus evidence.
Most of the Farak scandal unfolded under Maura’s predecessor (and boss) Martha Coakley. But the cover-up of this massive miscarriage of justice against alleged drug dealers, a large percentage of whom were non-white, continued after Healey became AG in 2015.
In 2017, Superior Court Judge Richard Carey threw out seven of those convictions. In his ruling, he accused Healey’s office of “intentional, repeated, prolonged and deceptive withholding of evidence from defendants, the court and local prosecutors.”
Judge Carey said that in suppressing the exculpatory evidence against the defendants, Healey’s office had sunk to “a depth of deceptiveness that constitutes a fraud upon the court.”
How much did Maura Healey want to cover up the railroading of the predominantly non-white drug defendants?
In one example cited by Judge Carey, Healey in 2016 filed a “Motion to Impound Grand Jury Materials and Report” on the scandal enveloping her office.
Then she filed a second motion to “impound its request for its Motion for Order of Non-Dissemination of Information.”
In other words, the prosecutor of the Asian-American politician wanted not only to seal the evidence of her office’s cover-up but also to seal the request to seal the evidence of her attempt to broom the scandal against mostly defendants of color.
By the way, those defendants weren’t the only members of protected classes who were ill-served by Maura’s minions. Farak, who was married to a woman, was represented by a female attorney from Northampton. Carey dryly noted that Maura’s prosecutor referred to the female from Northampton as “the gym teacher.”
I’m disappointed that Healey didn’t respond to my inquiries about Tran’s suit. I especially wanted to know if he’s right when he says she hasn’t prosecuted a single politician during her two terms in office.
Surely some tree warden, say, or a library trustee from some bosky dell must have bought a box of doughnuts from his brother-in-law and thus ran afoul of an obscure state regulation. But no, Tran claims, Maura hasn’t even brought one campaign-finance violation “despite many referrals.”
Professional courtesy, you might say.
News of Tran’s indictment was put out – in a press release – on July 1. This is significant because Independence Day is huge for candidates, especially with all the local parades they’re expected to march in.
Getting the news out on a Friday meant that everyone who saw Tran marching on the Fourth would have had the headlines about his indictment top of mind.
“Although the indictments were signed on July 1, they were not filed with the Clerk’s Office (on the) electronic docket until almost a week and a half later, on July 11, 2022.”
Oh, and then there was the cable-access TV program in Fitchburg, Tran’s hometown. On June 10, the chairwoman of the city’s Democrat city committee “predicted that Mr. Tran would be in court on or about June 30, 2022.”
She missed it by one day! So much for the secrecy of grand-jury proceedings.
After the arraignment yesterday in Worcester, Tran’s lawyer said the candidate is looking forward to “hopefully sending out deposition notices shortly.”
Tran is also seeking a quick hearing on his emergency motion for a temporary restraining order against Healey. I think we know which side all of Sonja Farak’s victims will be rooting for.
Democrats would never tolerate a transphobe. But a tran-phobe – that may be okay, at least here in Massachusetts. After all, Maura only goes after people who don’t look, or think, like her. It’s the Democrat way.