Maura Healey’s misses as Massachusetts attorney general
Maura Healey enters the governor’s fight as the automatic front-runner, but the larger question lingers: What exactly are the highlights of her seven-plus years as state attorney general?
As her No. 1 accomplishment, I’d list Healey’s measured response to the orgy of looting and violence by armed left-wing mobs that engulfed Boston on May 31 and June 1, 2020. Among other things, a career thug fired 12 shots at Boston Police officers on Tremont Street, some of which penetrated apartments across from the Common.
“Yes, Boston is burning,” the state’s chief law-enforcement officer said the next day as businesses and property owners tried to clean up millions of dollars of damage in the Third World-style mob violence, “But that’s how forests grow.”
At No. 2, I’m going to cite a lesser-known moment that speaks to her stewardship of the AG’s office.
Do you remember Sonja Farak, the drug-addicted hack chemist at the Department of Public Health. For more than a decade, Farak falsified thousands of criminal drug tests because she was ingesting all the contraband?
She was finally busted in 2013, smoking crack in her car outside the Springfield courthouse when Maura was a mere assistant attorney general.
But the cover-up by the AG’s office that began under Martha Coakley (Marsha, as Patches Kennedy called her) continued when she became attorney general.
Everything I’m about to tell you comes directly from a 2017 ruling by Superior Court Judge Richard Carey. When a report was filed showing how multiple assistant AG’s had tried to cover up Farak’s crimes, which resulted in the railroading of hundreds of accused drug dealers (most of them not white), Maura’s office tried to suppress the report.
Judge Carey reported that Healey’s office filed a “Motion to Impound Grand Jury Materials and Report” on the scandal her office had tried to sweep under the rug.
Then Healey filed a second motion — to “impound its request for its Motion for Order of Non-Dissemination of Information.”
In other words, not only did Healey try to bury the shocking evidence, she also tried to make sure her attempt to suppress the evidence of the criminal conduct by her assistant AG’s involving non-white defendants never saw the light of day.
Judge Carey found that Healey’s office had sunk to “a depth of deceptiveness that constitute a fraud upon the court.”
By the way, Farak was represented in court by a female lawyer from Northampton. One of Maura’s minions referred to the Northampton woman in emails as “the gym teacher.”
When the Board of Bar Overseers finally got around to investigating the actions of the attorney general’s office, their report said that Maura’s assistant who called the Northampton lawyer “the gym teacher” had “demonstrated a disturbing attitude toward defense counsel.”
So why have the media given the Farak scandal such a good leaving-alone? Netflix has done more coverage of Sonja Farak than the amen chorus that is the Boston media.
Imagine how differently a Republican politician would have been treated if he’d tried to suppress a report on prosecutors looking the other way as defendants of color were framed with fake evidence. What would happen to a GOP pol who had an underling who referred to “gym teachers.”
It would be treated like Jan. 6, speaking of which, what would have happened if any Republican, let alone an elected prosecutor, had brushed off the much less violent trespassing that day at the Capitol because “that’s how forests grow”?
When you’re in a state like Massachusetts, though, you don’t have to worry about media scrutiny of any kind.
Seldom is heard a discouraging word, at least if you’re a Democrat. Whatever she did, Maura could keep her current job for life, at least as long as she kept filing an endless stream of frivolous anti-Trump lawsuits, while continuing to underperform her real duties in the fashion of the Texas sheriff in Jim Thompson’s novel “Pop. 1380.”
“I had it made, and it looked like I could go on having it made … as long as I minded my own business and didn’t arrest no one unless I just couldn’t get out of it and they didn’t amount to nothin’.”
That’s exactly how MA attorneys general have always operated, which may explain why they practically never win higher office. Since 1953, one AG has died in office, seven have been defeated in primaries, and one (Marsha Coakley) was twice defeated in runs for higher office.
Ed Brooke is the single exception to the rule. While serving as AG, he was elected to the US Senate — 56 years ago.
Maura’s got $3,670,000 cash on hand, but she’ll need more. That’s why she’s putting the touch on such good-government types as Arthur Winn. Remember that greed head developer?
He admitted in federal court to funneling tens of thousands in illegal campaign contributions to such Democrat titans as Eddie Markey, Steve Lynch and Mike Capuano. He also took care of ex-state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, last seen on an FBI surveillance video stuffing $100 bills into her bra.
Maura hit up Arthur Winn for a grand on Dec. 27, just before the year ended. Now he can give her another grand — legally! Where do suppose Healey stashed her money?
Meanwhile, on Tuesday a representative of the Republican state committee filed a formal FOIA request with the city of Boston election department for “any and all documents related to the voter registration and party affiliation of Maura Healey, including any information related to change of address, change of party registration and change of voter status.”
Wonder what that’s all about? The GOP also made the same demand for the voting records of Sen. Sonya Chang-Diaz, but unlike Maura, I don’t believe Dianne Wilkerson’s successor moved last spring, the way the AG did from Charlestown to the South End.
So many questions as the campaign begins. For instance, how does Maura get along with, say, the State Police? You know, Charlie Baker adores his troopers for ever so many reasons. How does Maura feel about her staties?
Inquiring minds … well, you know.