Scandals eliminate staff, funds, convictions

The departed – that’s what you can call all the thousands of drug convictions erased from the books after the epic misconduct of Massachusetts law enforcement these last few years.

First it was the corrupt state crime-lab chemists, Annie Dookhan and Sonja Farak, faking thousands of criminal drug analyses. And now we have the case of MSP Trooper Leigha Genduso, who departed from the payroll last week after it was revealed that before she became a statie, she had admitted in federal court to perjury, money-laundering and kingpin-level drug dealing.

This gangster’s moll was in the K-9 unit. Why do I see a lot more drug convictions… departing?

Yesterday I asked the MSP and the Executive Office of Public Safety how many cases Genduso had testified in, and whether her rap sheet was ever disclosed to the assorted defendants, as required under law and legal ethics.

The EOPS responded with three words.

“No comment. Thanks.”

Genduso’s dearest friend in the State Police was Lt. Col. Dan Risteen, who also departed the payroll last week, after news about his playmate’s rap sheet was published. The departed Risteen, ironically, is a real expert on The Departed – he had a bit role in the 2006 movie of the same name, as “Crack House Cop #1.”

Risteen was joined in that scene by “Crack House Cop #2” – Francis Hughes, then an MSP lieutenant. Ironically enough, last November Hughes departed from the MSP payroll as abruptly as his pal Risteen after the first State Police scandal, the brooming of a OUI case involving the junkie-prostitute daughter of a hack judge from Worcester.

The departed are really stacking up – the burgeoning scandals have also claimed Lt. Col. Richard McKeon and Major Susan Anderson, neither of whom appeared in The Departed.

So how long do you think it will take before the first motion to dismiss a guilty verdict based on Genduso’s testimony? I’m guessing the briefs will be stacked up by St. Patrick’s Day.

To set the stage for all the departures, let’s consider Trooper Genduso’s admissions, under oath, about her lies to the grand jury, specifically about a money box containing $275,000 in cash from selling illegal drugs.

Q. Ms. Genduso, you lied to the grand jury about what you did with that box of money. We’ve established that already, right?

A. That’s correct.

Next, the lawyer asks the future state trooper about her sworn testimony that she delivered a bag of cash to a lawyer at a sub shop in Lynn.

Q. And you made up that story?

A. Well, not technically.

Q. You just said that you just left out a few things, right?

A. Right.

Q. But in fact, you actually made up a few things, too, didn’t you?

A. Well, what I was just about to say is that I did meet him at a sub shop in Lynn prior to that.

Q. With a bag full of $50,000?

A. No. No. But with a bag full of money that he gave me.

Q. Oh, with a bag of money that he gave you.

A. It was actually $5,000.

Think about it – not only is every last person Trooper Genduso testified against going to be getting out of prison, but they’ll also be suing the Commonwealth. Do you blame them? A lot of taxpayer money will soon be… departing.

Q. You talked about taking $50,000 in cash out of the money box yourself?

A. That part was a lie, correct.

Q. Thank you. And putting the $50,000 into a paper bag. That’s what you told the prosecutor and the agent here?

A. Yeah.

Q. That didn’t happen, did it?

A. No, it did not.

Q. And you told them that you then traveled to a sub shop in Lynn with the bag of $50,000?

A. Right.

Q. Which did not happen, did it?

A. Right.

Q. And gave that money to Atty. Zerola, $50,000 cash, that you had taken out of the box of money. And that did not happen, did it, ma’am?

A. Nope, it didn’t.

They could make a movie about the corruption in the State Police and how many of the bent brass are going to be fired now that they’re busted. Too bad the perfect title is already taken – The Departed.

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